To, all the ancestors and keepers of the land on whose traditional territories we are honoured to live and work.
It is with heavy hearts that we, Board and Staff at Nelson CARES add our condolences and our commitment to reconciliation to all of those with Indigenous ancestry. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC)made it clear that there were many unmarked graves and unaccounted for children who attended residential schools across Canada.
The identification of the remains of 215 children who were students at the Kamloops Indian Residential School made it even more tangible. Our sincerest condolences to the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc people and to all affected families and communities. We see and we acknowledge the pain experienced by survivors, inter generational survivors, families, and community as the trauma of past and present oppressions of violence and racism surfaces. Further, we recognize that the anger of Indigenous voices that have largely been ignored, and the history of colonialism continues to this day.
Regrettably, we know that there are many more unmarked graves unaccounted for.
Our current reality is documented in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports; the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; and Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond’s In Plain Sight report which looked at Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination in B.C.’s healthcare system .
Locally, we know that Indigenous people are over represented amongst the homeless population. Many of the personal issues including addictions, health issues, and community violence that act as contributors to homelessness can be linked to various types of historical trauma.
As a result, Indigenous people disproportionately experience poorer health, higher rates of unemployment income levels compared to non-Indigenous people. It is past time that this country stands beside Indigenous people to address the historical wrong doings and the resultant trauma.
We are committed to truth-telling and speaking out about the injustices affecting Indigenous peoples.We support reconciliation and decolonization as fundamental to creating the changes that need to occur. We will accomplish these ends by hosting cultural sensitivity training for both Board and Staff. The Board will also develop a list of cultural norms based on the recommendations of the TRC that will be added to our policies as standards of practice.
Ron Little, Board of Nelson CARES Jenny Robinson, E.D., Nelson CARES
A healthy and inclusive community where complete respect for all individuals is an ordinary, everyday occurrence
For a complete copy of the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations, click here.