National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30th marks the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which is a day to reflect on the role Canada has played in past and present injustices against Indigenous peoples. An important part of reconciliation is to honour the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. It is why, once again, Causeway will be closed on Friday, September 30th, 2022.
Last year, news broke of the uncovering of unmarked graves of Indigenous children at the sites of residential schools across the country. For Survivors, it was a painful reliving of the horrific abuse and trauma they experienced while placed in residential schools. For others, it was bleak evidence of the horror and scale of those atrocities, and marked renewed calls to action. We have a role to play in reconciliation and it starts with acknowledging our history. The role organizations like Causeway can play is to ensure we provide inclusive programs and services that honour peoples’ cultures and history and treat all people with dignity and respect.
Last year, we committed to the following actions:
Engaging our community partners in our strategic planning process to determine where we can improve in our ability to support our Indigenous communities through Causeway programs and services
Reviewing our policies, practices and support strategies to ensure that they are culturally relevant, inclusive and trauma-informed
Collaborating with community partners working in Indigenous communities to reduce barriers in navigating systems in order to access Causeway’s programs and services
While we have made significant progress, we recognize that many of our actions are ongoing commitments. Over the course of a year, Causeway has:
Engaged with a variety of organizations, people receiving services, and businesses to form a 3-year Strategic Plan. One of our priorities in this plan is to develop stronger connections with service providers across the city, including Indigenous organizations, to ensure that everyone coming to Causeway has clear pathways to support during their employment journey.
Attended a group learning session about how to be a trauma-informed workplace.
Continued work on the development of a philanthropy philosophy that is rooted in equality and inclusion.
Created and implemented a land acknowledgement statement included in our email signatures with a commitment to uplift Indigenous voices, and working with communities towards reconciliation based in truth, dignity, and respect.
Connected with Wabano, Odawa and Inuuqatigiit Centre for preliminary conversations around partnerships and onsite intakes.
Made plans with Warshield to provide an educational session on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation for Causeway staff in October of 2022.
By sharing these actions, our intention is not to congratulate ourselves on a job well done, but to instead show what meaningful action can look like. The work is far from over. Reconciliation is an ongoing responsibility and we must all do our part to support Indigenous peoples and communities, honour their history, and confront the continued impact of White colonialism.
Causeway’s closure on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will give our staff the chance for continued reflection and learning. If you would like to learn more about how you can take action, please take a look at the following resources:
If you are interested in supporting an Indigenous organization, consider making a donation. Here is a list of Ottawa-based organizations: https://www.ottawaaboriginalcoalition.ca/indigenous-ottawa-organizations