It’s too hot for any of us to think. It’s also wrong to celebrate Canada Day tomorrow or any other year. This country has a long history of genocide against Indigenous People and we honour every child who was forced to attend a forced-assimilation school.
We all have a role to play in advancing actual meaningful truth and reconciliation and encourage everyone to do their part. As the Commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission wrote in the final report, “Reconciliation is not an Aboriginal problem; it is a Canadian one.”
You can continue (or begin) your education on Canada’s history of genocide against Indigenous by either one of these:
Enroll in this free 12-lesson course from the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. From their website: “From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations. Topics for the 12 lessons include the fur trade and other exchange relationships, land claims and environmental impacts, legal systems and rights, political conflicts and alliances, Indigenous political activism, and contemporary Indigenous life, art and its expressions.”
First Nations University is offering a free, online learning series that Canadians can take advantage of, available until July 15. This is an introduction to understanding Indigenous perspectives in Canada.
Read about the findings from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which reveals persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people. This report calls for transformative legal and social changes to resolve crises among Indigenous communities.
Here are some Indigenous-led organizations and charities in Calgary and across Canada that you can support and donate to:
Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society: Substance Abuse and Trauma Treatment Centre
Here are some resources for those in need of support, which we encourage anyone who may need it to use, especially with the investigations underway for all the massive unmarked graves all over the country.
The Indian Residential School Survivors Society offers 24/7 crisis support: 1-800-721-0066 (toll-free).
The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24/7 for anyone experiencing pain and distress: 1-866-925-4419. For specifically Alberta services: 1-888-495-6588.
Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary’s Elder line is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm: 403-801-4419.
Find services available by your area from the Native Counselling Services of Alberta.
Other ways to show your support:
Follow Indigenous activists on social media. Here are just a few: @lilnativeboy on Instagram and Twitter, @nadiageorgeofficial on Instagram and Twitter, @DrMakokis on Twitter, @TheAgentNDN on Twitter.
Find a march near you, there are many happening tomorrow for #CancelCanadaDay. IdleNoMore.ca offers a list of cities planning a march and provides other updates via text or email. Here are the details for Calgary’s march.
Support Indigenous Businesses. ShopFirstNations.com provides local First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses.