Today, and every September 30, we move toward reconciliation by holding space and honouring this critical day. It’s a day to reflect. To listen. To learn. To acknowledge. To think about where we’ve been and where we are now, as a nation. For settlers like me, in a place of privilege, it is time to take direction and act.
Standing back to let Indigenous folks direct the way, and working to do better means that we can no longer be silent, pay lip service, or participate in empty gestures. Change is messy, and it is our long-overdue duty. Every day, and most especially today, know the Indigenous territory on which you reside, talk about it with the people you love, support, buy from, and raise Indigenous voices so that the healing can continue. Here are a few of my favourite resources:
Indigenous Owned Shops
Residential School Support
The Government of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health and Cultural Support Program provides mental health as well as emotional and cultural support services to eligible survivors and their families through all phases of the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement. Contact the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Alberta Region, at 1-888-495-6588 for more information.
The 24-hour National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has also been set up to provide support to former residential school students. Individuals can call 1-866-925-4419 to access emotional and crisis referral services. Individuals can also access the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310, or connect to the online chat through their website.