During Nation Indigenous History Month (June), we celebrate and recognize the history, culture, and diversity of First Nation, Inuit, and Métis people and communities in Canada.
We must also reflect and focus on the ongoing work of reconciliation.
Reconciliation feels increasingly more difficult as we continue to discover more and more atrocities from our not-so-distant past. Atrocities such as the remains of 215 beautiful and innocent Indigenous children found in a mass grave at what was a former residential school in Kamloops.
This month our logo will be orange as we mourn those children and honour all Indigenous people who have been impacted by residential schools and other sanctions imposed on them through assimilation and the Indian Act. Our logo will be orange as a sign to our government that we stand with our Indigenous neighbours. Our logo will be orange a signal that we want to see our governments do more for Indigenous people in our city and across Canada.
This month – and moving forward – support Indigenous art, businesses, and charities. Read books written by Indigenous people. Write to our elected officials and let them know that more must be done with Truth and Reconciliation efforts.
The Ottawa Food Bank acknowledges that we are not perfect – but we are learning. We are honoured to be partnered with Indigenous-led agencies to help with food security in their communities. We are also proud that our IDEA committee is researching and sharing learnings on Indigenous history with our staff team.
But there is, of course, so much more that can be done. Throughout the month, we will be posting things we can all do. A good place to start is to get to know the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.