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30 June 2021
CMHA Niagara joins many across the country in reflecting on Canada’s past and future this year on July 1.
CMHA is deeply troubled by the revelations from investigations into unmarked grave sites at former residential schools in BC and Saskatchewan. We recognize that for Canada’s Indigenous peoples, this is a day of mourning rather than celebration, and extend our deepest condolences to those who are grieving.
The physical, psychological and spiritual violence stemming from residential schools has caused pain that has been passed from generation to generation. The recent discoveries in BC and Saskatchewan reflects the long history of racism, violence and cultural genocide towards Indigenous peoples in Canada which did not end with the closure of residential schools. It continues to this day. Every day, Indigenous people live the very real impacts of systemic racism and colonialism, which affect their mental health and well-being.
CMHA Niagara branch stands with CMHA National in calling for our health care system and decision-makers to heed the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to support Indigenous communities’ calls to action on reconciliation, and particularly those in support of Indigenous mental health, healing, and well-being.
As part of our own commitment to advance reconciliation, CMHA branches across Ontario have been engaging in meaningful partnerships with Indigenous organizations and leaders in the development and implementation of cultural programs and services, including supporting Indigenous-led mental health promotion within communities, valuing Indigenous healing practices and ways of working rooted in the principles of cultural safety and self-determination, and offering Indigenous cultural awareness training for staff members.
To learn more about the TRC, visit their website.