June 21, 2021
It’s been a trying time for Indigenous people across Canada as we collectively mourn the loss of the children discovered at a mass grave in Kamloops. Many Indigenous communities across Canada are raising funds in order to scan sites where they’re likely to find more mass graves like the one found in Kamloops.
I’ve received a number of messages and e-mails asking the question, “How can I help?” A different, and more favorable approach may be, “Here’s what I’m doing to help.” There are a number of ways you can help: learn and practice Land Acknowledgement for your area, learn about the local Indigenous tribes in your area, educate yourself on current and past events, how we got here, and consider donating to causes like orangeshirtday.org. There are local artists that release their own version of an Orange Shirt. For example, I purchased one in Duncan as well as in Victoria. I encourage you to ensure the shirt comes from an Indigenous artist/organization. There have been instances of online businesses selling the Orange shirt for profit and they have no affiliation to Indigenous people.
The Canada.ca website has a great page on how we can all get involved and participate in activities. The site contains an interactive map where you can easily find activities in your area, as well as educational tools to learn more about National Indigenous Peoples Day.
Today is a proud moment as the Union raises a new flag on Indigenous Peoples Day. Hopefully next year we will be able to host our own event and celebrate the cultures we have in our own backyard. Please accept this as an open call for Indigenous and non-Indigenous members who would like to participate and assist with a future event. You can reach me via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chair – First Nations Vision Committee
To view as a pdf: Bulletin #35 National Indigenous Peoples Day