Dear DEI CoP Members,
You may have become aware that this week marks two significant events that community members recall and honour. As community workers and organizations across our communities and Canada-wide are mourning these events with families they serve, there is great pain. As DEI CoP members, we would ask that you consider acknowledging the horrors, learn about these events and take a few minutes to reflect on this history, and wish for continued healing for these families.
Honouring The Lives of The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation Children- Canada mourns with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nations and honours the innocent lives of 215 children whose lives were taken by the residential school system. We grieve all the victims of residential schools and stand with survivors and the communities who continue to feel the impacts of residential schools, they are among us.
The violence of settler-colonialism on First Nations, Metis and Inuit children, youth, and communities is not a thing of the past – it is very much ongoing and built into the foundation of all of Canada’s systems. It is in this capacity that organizations can do more to acknowledge the violence of historic colonization and challenging it in professional and personal capacities.
The Tulsa Race Massacre, Known as Black Wall Street Massacre- The Tulsa race massacre occurred 100 years ago this week, on May 31 and June 1, 1921. Alternatively known as the Black Wall Street massacre or the Tulsa race riot, mobs of White residents, many of them deputized and given weapons by city officials, attacked Black residents, and burned businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, US. It marks one of the single worst incidents of racial violence in American history.
The attack carried out on the ground and from private aircraft, destroyed more than 35 square blocks of community – at that time, the wealthiest Black community in the United States, known as Black Wall Street. More than 800 people were hospitalized, and as many as 6,000 Black residents were interned in large facilities, many of them for several days. The US Commission gave several estimates ranging from 75 to 300 who died. There is so much sorrow in our history of intentional harm to others.
We hope that in some small way our work brings healing to the lives of so many known and unknown.
Your DEI CoP Co-chairs,
Suzette Lewis & Nicola Crow
Here are resources, if you, your staff teams, or your clients would like support processing the news about the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation Children:
Kuu-us Crisis Line 1-800-588-8717
Hope for Wellness crisis line: 1-855-242-3310
Anishnawbe Health Toronto crisis line: 416-891-8606
For Indian Residential School Survivors and Family across the country, there is a 24 hour crisis line: 1-866-925-4419
With June being National Indigenous Month, here is another opportunity to learn more:
Timeline of Canadian History – YouTube (16 minutes long, provides meaningful context of Fist Nations history prior to colonization)
Canada (tribalnationsmaps.com) This Native American-owned company sells interesting, detailed maps of Indigenous Lands (not just North American).
Honouring_the_Truth_Reconciling_for_the_Future_July_23_2015.pdf (trc.ca) Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Summary Findings
Beyond 94 | CBC News : Measures progress on Calls to Action
Remains found at Kamloops residential school ‘not an isolated incident,’ Indigenous experts and leaders warn | CBC News
First Nations child advocate wins 1st battle with Ottawa on services | CBC News
Blackstock gears up for latest Federal Court fight to end ‘human rights tragedy’ against First Nations kids (aptnnews.ca)