A Statement from Fife House Truth and Reconciliation Committee.
On September 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which commemorates the tragic legacy of Canada’s residential and day schools. Fife House recognizes the importance of this day, and is issuing the following statement:
Canada’s residential school system for Indigenous children was created for the purpose of separating children from their families. These steps of cultural oppression were taken to break family and community connections, and eradicate Indigenous culture and language. The schools operated throughout Canada for well over 100 years, and the legacy of the historic abuse, oppression, and cultural genocide have left deep wounds in many Indigenous families and communities today. In addition, the unmarked graves of Indigenous children continue to be discovered, which highlights the atrocities that took place at residential schools, and continues to shed light on the unforgiveable and horrific reality.
The true purpose of the residential school system was kept secret for much of Canada’s history. The recent discovery of unmarked graves have brought fresh attention to this shameful chapter of Canadian history and ignited the demand for justice. Fife House recognizes the truth of the colonial and oppressive history in this country, and much work is needed from municipal, provincial, and federal governments to work towards justice and reconciliation.
Fife House provides secure affordable housing and support services to anyone living with HIV/AIDs and works to achieve social change through research and advocacy that addresses systemic oppression and we recognize the connections of the residential school system and other forms of oppression enacted by Canadian governments, such as the sixties scoop, to the very real and present experiences of violence faced by Indigenous people today, especially those living with HIV/AIDS.
As part of our own journey of reconciliation with Indigenous communities, and in recognition of the commitments to truth and reconciliation, Fife House offers the following:
Call to Action
- We call on the Government of Ontario to recognize the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on September 30 as a provincial statutory holiday.
- We observe National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and express solidarity with Indigenous populations, Indigenous communities, and all those affected by the legacy of colonialism in Canada.
We intend to continue to:
- Create connections with other organizations and groups, governed by Indigenous peoples, specifically those that focus on HIV/AIDS and housing
- Consult with Indigenous leaders, community members and clients/residents on how Fife House can implement an Indigenous lens across our organization
- Continue to learn from the lessons of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and take action at all levels of the organization.
There is much more that Fife House must do to walk this talk and we commit to seeking justice for Indigenous communities across the HIV and supportive housing sector.
Fife House – Truth and Reconciliation Committee