Every September 30th will be National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day recognizes the intergenerational harm that residential schools have caused to Indigenous families and communities in Canada and will honour those who have been affected by this injustice.
Between the 1870s and 1997, more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children were forced to attend residential schools. These injustices are not new information to us, but this year, the loss of life of so many Indigenous children, over 6,000 and counting, further highlighted these atrocities and was another stark reminder of just how much work we must do to make reparations.
Those who survived the residential schools may be facing dementia today, and living in long-term care, a place that is sure to be a reminder of the past traumas.
At the Alzheimer Society, we recognize that acknowledgement must be coupled with action to make reconciliation possible. Racism and colonization are our problem and will only be addressed if we are willing to stand up and be accountable. To do so, we have committed to:
- Training all staff on a variety of issues that undermine equality for all,
- Expanding our Board of Directors to ensure underserved communities have a voice at the decision-making table,
- Collecting demographics to be able to accurately understand the clients we serve and, most importantly, who is missing, and,
- Addressing hiring practices to ensure that unconscious bias doesn’t impact who we bring onto our team.