By Julie Schultz, June 21st, 2017 in
On National Aboriginal Day, Peel HIV/AIDS Network Endorses Truth and Reconciliation Report’s Calls to Action
“Reconciliation must support Aboriginal peoples as they heal from the destructive legacies of colonization that have wreaked such havoc in their lives.”
-Honouring the Truth, Reconciling the Future: Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee of Canada
Canada has a long history of colonialism in relation to Aboriginal peoples. This history and its policies of cultural genocide and forced assimilation have left deep scars on the lives of many Aboriginal people, on Aboriginal communities, and on Canadian society. The relationship between Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal peoples is defined by profound inequity, and by the enduring effects of atrocities inflicted upon generations of Aboriginal peoples.
Reconciliation is attainable only through a sustained commitment to remedying the social, political, and economic maladies left in the wake of a legacy of colonialism that took place over the course of centuries. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action are aimed at redressing the legacy of residential schools and advancing the process of Canadian reconciliation.
Peel HIV/AIDS Network (PHAN) is proud to announce that the Board of Directors has endorsed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report’s Calls to Action. We are committed to working with Indigenous organizations to better understand our role in supporting the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Report’s Calls to Action.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission explored the impacts of residential schools on Indigenous people, which resulted in a report and action items to address a broad range of needs to close gaps in areas such as health, income, and education to begin the long process of reconciliation. The Truth and Reconciliation Report states that redressing the legacy of residential schools and achieving reconciliation will have a direct impact on improving Indigenous health outcomes.
Both as an HIV organization and a community dedicated to social justice, equity, and inclusion, PHAN endorses the Truth and Reconciliation Report’s Calls to Action. Specifically, given our mandate, mission, and vision, PHAN has identified 9 health-related action items that we commit to advocating for. We are dedicated to working with members and key stakeholders of Indigenous and non- Indigenous organizations to provide the support and resources needed to improve the overall health and well-being of Indigenous communities in Peel.