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Re-Telling Reconciliation – A Talk by Roshan Danesh

February 7, 2015, in Videos > Talk, by

Roshan Danesh presents a talk entitled “Re-Telling Reconciliation” at the 2014 Association for Baha’i Studies North America Conference in Toronto, Canada.

In this talk Roshan Danesh looks at the tragic way in which colonizing peoples treated the indigenous inhabitants of the lands they settled, such as Canada, and reflects on our responsibility as Baha’is. He starts by recounting the story of Ali Nakhjavani’s visit to Canada in 2007, where he held a special meeting with First Nations representatives in Vancouver, speaking on the importance of the First Nations peoples, and he asked them to “help us”, rather than “let us help you”.

Abdu’l-Baha attached great importance to the indigenous peoples of America who will become so radiant that they will illuminate the world. We should focus on affirmation and recognition, since reconciliation must come from the inside out, reshaping our own thinking and feeling. People in Canada do not realize why we need reconciliation, but it is a necessary requirement for the Baha’i community. We need to align our means and ends, and how we converse, talk and speak are our means. Ali Nakhjavani, before his meeting, sought out knowledge on how to be respectful, and how to communicate meaningfully, with an understanding of history. Roshan Danesh closed his talk by inviting Louise Profeit-Leblanc to demonstrate her reconciliation blanket (which you can view here), which symbolized the removal of children and the outlawing of language of culture, giving way to the beginning of reconciliation and the first First Nations representatives on the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada and the ultimate coming together of nations.

Posted by

Naysan Naraqi

Naysan is passionate about using the arts and media to explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith. Back in 2011, Naysan started up the Baha’i Blog project, channeling his experiences in both media and technology companies to help create a hub for Baha’i-inspired content online.
Naysan Naraqi

Discussion 4 Comments

Thank you Doug, this presentation, was very enlightening and left me with a lot of unanswered questions, the answers to which I look forward to finding.

ron stead

ron stead (February 2, 2015 at 9:41 AM)

I would like to know who is Doug? Thank you Naysan for this. History tells us that civilization is a moving feast and world is a changeable place: High and low continually swap places.

Hooshang Sadeghi-Afshar

Hooshang Sadeghi-Afshar (February 2, 2015 at 12:25 AM)

Is a transcript available for the hearing impaired?

Perhaps a little more might be learnt about communicating and respect were high profile Baha’i speakers to speak in a language other than the colonizing powers or if they knew an indigenous tongue well or more importantly i m o if they delved more deeply into the Writings vis-a-vis the principle of a universal auxiliary language which when discussed properly, not necessarily selected per se, starts to lift the colonized on to an equal footing with beneficiaries of the colonial system I.e. among many others, Baha’i scholars who make these well meaning and informed talks.

Thank you

Baha’i love


Paul Desailly

Paul Desailly (February 2, 2015 at 8:50 PM)

Very important theme and excellent approach. It is part of the universal theme that humanity is currently struggling with: learning to collaborate with unity in diversity rather than dominating for unity by conformity and homogeneity. Dominators, whether colonialists, egoistic elites or despots use to think that some human flowers are better and of higher status than the rest. Therefore, those ‘better and higher’ flowers should rule the rest. Worst, they think that all other flowers should emulate their way, the only way. That is old, childish, adolescent thinking. Today, every single
flower in not only beautiful and useful but also has a rightful place in the flower garden of humanity, regardless of colour, shape, form, fragrance or location. Today is about unity in diversity, an appropriate guiding principle for a more mature and wiser humanity.


Sione (February 2, 2015 at 10:18 PM)

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