June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada.
Indigenous History Month honours the heritage, history, and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada, and recognizes the strength of present-day Indigenous communities. It also acknowledges the vast contributions of Indigenous Peoples, both past and present, and how they have shaped and continue to shape Canada. This month is a time for all Canadians to learn about, acknowledge and appreciate these immense contributions.
On May 28, the remains of 215 children were found at the site of a Kamloops residential school. It is imperative that we acknowledge and honour the lives of each of these children — and thousands of others — while acknowledging and addressing the ongoing impacts of these losses for communities across this country.
The Kawartha Chamber encourages you to make time this month to learn about the histories, knowledge systems, and lived realities of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. The Indigenous residential school system is part of these lived realities. As we mourn the children whose lives were taken, we need to commit to learn about the impacts of the residential school system, past and present, and acknowledge there is much work to be done, as outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Recommendations and Findings. We encourage you to listen, learn, and engage as a first step to build the respectful relationships necessary to move toward healing and reconciliation.
The following are resources we encourage readers to access:
Indigenous Canada, University of Alberta – Free Course!
The Kawartha Chamber also encourages you to support Indigenous owned businesses. The Chamber has many members such as Tribal Trade, Curve Lake Cultural Centre, Lovesick Lake Native Women’s Association and more!