OTTAWA, June 21, 2018 /CNW/ - National Indigenous Peoples Day is a time to honour the heritage, contributions and cultures of First Nation, Inuit and Métis people. It also is a day to embrace reconciliation, as individuals, organizations and communities.
Today is a day to make a very personal contribution to the reconciliation movement. The indignity, injustices and discrimination that Indigenous peoples continue to endure weakens the fabric of our entire society. Colonization, assimilationist policies and the scars inflicted by residential schools have damaged cultures and kinships, and have resulted in distressing gaps in health outcomes and living conditions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is committed to building cultural humility and competency as an organization, so that we can better partner and align with Indigenous organizations and communities. We have much to learn from Indigenous-led solutions and welcome the teachings and mentorship of the wise elders who generously guide our leadership.
Working toward achieving the 94 Calls to Action released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will require the involvement of everyone living in Canada. A country that fails to redress inequities is a country in failing health. We must do better. Today, I urge you to commit to learning more about rich Indigenous cultures through National Indigenous Peoples Day events. Download Reconciliation Canada's community action toolkit to build your own activity or contact your local Friendship Centre to see what they have planned. Or, if you live in Winnipeg, Toronto or Ottawa, join the APTN Indigenous Day Live event in your city on June 23.
Reconciliation is a deeply personal journey that each of us must walk alone before we can come together – with open hearts and minds, free from judgement – to make a commitment to a better way forward in the name of Canada's health and wellness.
Louise Bradley President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada