Teranet Reflects on National Indigenous History Month
June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada. It is a time to celebrate the history, heritage, and diversity of our Indigenous communities. This month marks the anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day, which is held every year on June 21st.
It is also a time to reflect on a very dark period of Canada’s past and present. Recently, the remains of 215 Indigenous children that had died at the site of a Residential School in British Columbia were found in a mass grave. For all Canadians, this moment should be one of immense national grieving. We should also, take the time to learn about the history of Residential Schools in Canada and the impact that they have had on multiple generations of Indigenous people who continue to experience and feel the trauma of these schools today. From 1863 to 1996 over 150,000 children were forcibly removed from their families and taken to these schools in an attempt to eradicate their heritage and assimilate their communities into Euro-Canadian and Christian ways of living. Many of these children never returned home, and those that did still suffer from the lasting impact of these Residential Schools.
While it is clear that Residential Schools in Canada are not just an issue of the past, but an issue of the present, we can take steps towards understanding the full history of our country and learning to love, honor and respect all those that live here. Truth and reconciliation cannot happen without an acknowledgment of the wrongdoings of our past and a concentrated effort to educate, listen and move forward collectively.
As a part of our commitment to recognizing wrongdoings and learning, we acknowledge that our Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Teranet offices operate on land that is the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We also acknowledge that Toronto, the location of our head office, is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit. We acknowledge that our Winnipeg office is on Treaty 1 territory and the land on which we work is the traditional territory of Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene peoples and homeland of the Metis Nation. We also acknowledge that our Burnaby office is on the land that was the traditional territory of Coast Salish (Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish peoples).
This National Indigenous History Month, we at Teranet are pledging to learn more about the history of Indigenous people in Canada in order to become better allies to these communities. Below we have included a few lists of links and resources that you can use to learn about the true history of Canada as we work together to advocate for and reconcile with the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, now known as Canada.
- The Orange Shirt Day
- Indigenous Residential School Survivors
- Legacy of Hope Foundation
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation – University of Manitoba
- The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund
- The Witness Blanket
- Save the Evidence Campaign
- Circles for Reconciliation
Articles & Reports:
- “A Knock on the Door” by Phil Fontaine, Aimée Craft, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
- “21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act” by Bob Joseph
- “Loss of Indigenous Eden and the Fall of Spirituality” by Blair Stonechild
- “They Called Me Number One” by Xat’sull Chief Bev Sellars
- “Call Me Indian: From the Trauma of Residential School to Becoming the NHL’s First Treaty Indigenous Player” by Fred Sasakamoose
- “Five Little Indians” by Michelle Good
- “Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City” by Tanya Talaga
- “Apple: (Skin to the Core)” by Eric Gansworth
- “Our Stories: First Peoples in Canada” by Centennial College (Free on Apple Books)
- “‘Real’ Indians and Others: Mixed-blood Urban Native Peoples and Indigenous Nationhood” by Bonita Lawrence
- “Making native space” by Cole Harris
- “The Colonial Problem: An Indigenous Perspective on Crime and Injustice in Canada” by Lisa Monchalin
- “One Story, One Song” by Richard Wagamese
- “Indigenous Writes” by Chelsea Vowel