WDG Public Health is observing September 30, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by acknowledging the harm of residential schools and the need for all Canadians to reflect on the damage this system did to individuals, families and whole communities.
As a public health agency, we can’t close our doors on this day as we are committed to continuing the fight against COVID-19 in our communities.
Today we encourage our staff, partners and clients to support the work of reconciliation and to become informed and learn ways to promote that reconciliation especially with our indigenous neighbours.
One way to start this process is by engaging with some of the resources of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and by reflecting on our personal relationship to the institutions and processes that allowed this system to be condoned by Canadians while being such a source of abuse for the individuals who were forced to attend residential schools.
Public Health is committed to providing services for all indigenous people and will continue to work towards making them culturally appropriate and safe. Not only do we want to provide health services but also work to reduce the social inequities that can impact the health of an indigenous person, their family or their community.
On this first day for Truth and Reconciliation, all of us at WDG Public Health will take a moment to pause and reflect on what role we have in this process and how we may have consciously or unconsciously supported a system that hurt the first inhabitants of the land where we now live, work and prosper.
Getting familiar with the work and report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada is a first step for many.
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: Residential School Timeline
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is hosting online events during Truth and Reconciliation week (September 27 to October 1)
- The Survivors Speak (PDF)
- Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future (PDF)
- CBC interview with Murray Sinclair