Over the past few years Canada has reckoned with the discovery of graves at Residential Schools and the historical abuses experienced by Indigenous people across the country At Mission Services, we have been challenging ourselves to better understand our impact in the First Nations communities and how we can work better with, and for, these communities. We work with a number of men and women who identify as Indigenous in our programs. Understanding intergenerational trauma helps our staff better help those clients.
Our land acknowledgment (part of which is included on the cover of this newsletter) acknowledges our history as an organization founded on the principles of Christian faith and the role churches have in the Residential School System and their impact on Indigenous groups. As an organization founded with good intentions, we are always striving to grow and learn.
Mission Services is also creating an Action Plan to guide us in our Truth and Reconciliation Efforts. One of our goals is to increase our knowledge and understanding of Canadian Indigenous history, and Indigenous cultures, practices, and more. To this end, we created a book club and so far have read and discussed 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, with help from residents in Ohsweken.
As our programming “meets the client where they are at”, we want to ensure we can offer, or refer to, Indigenous practices and supports.
On September 30th, we will mourn the lives lost throughout the years due to indifference and prejudice, and remind ourselves that the calls to action are not just for one day, but for every day.