Dear Partners, Colleagues, Co-Workers, and Friends
We have taken a few days to reflect on the painful and tragic loss we know is being felt by Indigenous peoples. We are saddened and distressed regarding the recent verification of a well-known truth that was finally exposed by the discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children at the former Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (Kamloops) residential school. We also recognize the feelings of anguish, anger and grief felt by our Indigenous clients, partners, and co-workers throughout all Indigenous communities. Our voices unite with yours in the call for every burial site to be uncovered. You are survivors and our hearts, voices and actions are with you.
We believe and understand that the motive of the residential school system was to deprive children of their families, their identity, their dignity, and their communities. The ultimate goal being the genocide of Indigenous people and Indigenous culture. As a settler organization, we feel we have a responsibility to reverse the impacts of historical and current colonial acts and to promote reconciliation. We will make conscience efforts to demand government change and to advocate for the completion of the 94 Calls to Action, by The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada.
While we are invited to work with you and with your communities, we remain committed to being present and to ensure that Indigenous people and communities have access to a high standard of culturally safe mental health care in accordance with the following TRC Calls to Action:
- We call upon those who can effect change within the Canadian health-care system to recognize the value of Indigenous healing practices and use them in the treatment of Indigenous patients in collaboration with Indigenous healers and Elders were requested by Indigenous patients.
- We call upon all levels of government to: i. Increase the number of Indigenous professionals working in the health-care field. ii. Ensure the retention of Indigenous health-care providers in Indigenous communities. iii. Provide cultural competency training for all healthcare professionals.
We sincerely appreciate the relationships we have established and nurtured over the past years and we are committed to working with you as we strengthen the support for individuals, families and communities. We are inspired by your leadership and committed to walk beside you and listen unconditionally.