September 30th: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30th marks the third 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 Monday, October 2nd, 2023.
We all have a role to play in reconciliation. 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. Causeway is located on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people. We are committed to uplifting Indigenous voices, and working with communities towards reconciliation. We continue to collaborate with community partners working in Indigenous communities to reduce barriers to navigating systems and accessing supports, including Causeway’s employment services.
In the past year, we welcomed Warshield to a meeting with all staff, and they provided a presentation and training around Truth and Reconciliation.
With full credit to Warshield, Lance Morrison, and our trainer, Tristan Smyth, our collective homework is to:
1. Identify the Indigenous Peoples whose land you are living and working on (Whose Land App)
2. Research and write your own land acknowledgement
a. What does it mean to you and your family?
b. How does it speak to where you are from and your ancestors’ immigration to Canada?
c. What relationship do you have (or want to have) with the Indigenous Peoples whose land you are on?
3. Read the Treaty governing the land that you are on, including other places that you have lived within Canada.
a. What are your obligations under the treaty?
b. Do you feel that the Government of Canada is honouring its commitments under the treaty?
c. How can you change your behaviour to honour your responsibilities?
4. What motivated colonization, and what continues to impede truth and reconciliation?
6. Research which Calls to Action and Calls for Justice have been implemented
a. How can you hold your local politicians accountable for following through on the implementation?
7. Leverage your influence to call out and correct inappropriate depictions of Indigenous Peoples in the news media and social media
a. What educational resources can you direct people to for their own learning?
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.
If you are interested in supporting an Indigenous organization, here is a list of Ottawa-based organizations: https://www.ottawaaboriginalcoalition.ca/indigenous-ottawa-organizations. Or, consider donating to the Indigenous Solidarity Fund: https://uniteforchange.com/en/fund/indigenous-peoples-solidarity-fund/
Causeway’s closure in honour of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will give our staff the chance for continued reflection, learning, and action, and we invite our Causeway community to join us in this important work.