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Honouring National Indigenous Peoples Day – June 21

News Release: Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) Territory

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, the Our Children Our Way Secretariat honours Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island and the intricate systems that have sustained Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing since the beginning of time.

“For us, Indigenous Peoples Day is every day. We live and breathe it. We are still here. We have survived and we are thriving in our cultures and in our ceremonies, in our songs and in our dancing, in our languages and on our lands,” Deb Foxcroft, Elder Advisor, Our Children Our Way Secretariat.

National Indigenous Peoples Day honours the strength and resilience of Indigenous peoples, their communities and their Nations. It also presents an opportunity for non-Indigenous people to step into meaningful allyship with our Indigenous brothers and sisters and take action to support decolonization and reconciliation.

Reflecting on National Indigenous People’s Day from the perspective of an ally:

“I appreciate the opportunity to reflect on my ongoing journey in allyship, on the ways in which I show up as a non-Indigenous person, and to consider the responsibilities I carry as a guest on the territories where I reside.

I have been a non-Indigenous social worker for nearly two decades and many Indigenous people have shared their experiences in the child welfare system with me. I have witnessed the hardships and inequalities in Indigenous communities, and despite my own best efforts, and those of my colleagues, it is clear western systems of care are failing Indigenous people.

Indigenous Child and Family Service work and reform must be led by Indigenous communities. It is equally clear that non-Indigenous allies must take a strong role in supporting that work,” Tracy Malchuk, Policy Analyst, Our Children Our Way Secretariat.

On this National Indigenous People’s Day, the Our Children Our Way Secretariat encourages non-Indigenous people to reflect on how they can take action as allies. There are numerous resources available to support both learning and action, including:

Honouring our dear friend and ally Bill McArthur in Haida Gwaii …

Honouring William McArthur, our dear friend and ally who recently retired from Indigenous Services Canada, pictured with Jennifer Dysart of Haida Child & Family Services, Kelley McReynolds of Ayás Méńmen Child & Family Services (Squamish Nation), Mary Teegee-Gray, Chair of the Our Children Our Way Secretariat & Executive Director of Carrier Sekani Family Services, and Gregory Miller of ISC. Images taken at the Haida Heritage Centre, Master Carver Kihlyaahda Christian White  Studios in Masset and Taaw Tldáaw (formerly Tow Hill) in Haida Gwaii – June 2024.

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For further comment, please contact: Jennifer Chuckry, Executive Director, Our Children Our Way Secretariat, [email protected]