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Our Reconciliation Initiatives


Reconciliation Initiatives

“It is precisely because education was the primary tool of oppression of Aboriginal people and the miseducation of all Canadians, that we have concluded that education holds the key to reconciliation.”

Justice Murray Sinclair

Call to Action – Reconciliation and Resurgence

The Children’s Foundation (TCF) has adopted the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action on Education. As an organization based in colonial history, we have begun a learning journey to increase our awareness of Indigenous culture, land, histories, traditions and practices.  The impacts of colonialism, particularly as it was embodied in the Indian residential school and the child welfare systems, persist today.

TCF has chosen to face the truth of injustices in Canada and we have a ways to go in order to unravel our “colonial privilege.” We recognize it is our job to take responsibility to “decolonize” ourselves and learn what it means to be an ally and to ally with our Indigenous children and families. Although truth and justice both live and come from the heart – we recognize that colonial apologies will not be enough to transform this massive social injustice. Only our concrete actions, rooted in the fundamental belief of human safety, dignity and connection and the self –determining rights of Indigenous peoples, will transform the current conditions and bring us closer to reconciliation we seek for a future without systemic oppression and injustice.

Here are some of our guiding principles and reconciliation initiatives we have undertaken:

  • Ensure that TCF staff is familiar with the goals of the TRC Calls to Action and the Aboriginal Policy and Practice Framework

  • Relationship building between Indigenous community – Elders, traditional teachers, parents and community members and the child welfare system

  • Find ways to learn, invite and honour Indigenous ways of knowing

  • Developing partnerships with Indigenous families who can share their culture and can identify with our Indigenous children and families

  • Create a service culture based on respect where Indigenous children and families experience safety, dignity, belonging and connection

  • Understand and incorporate Indigenous perspectives that are holistic, experiential and are rooted in Indigenous languages, cultures and spirituality, community and family centered

  • Use of Best Practices frameworks for non-Indigenous service workers – that are politically and culturally aware

  • Serving from a Cultural Humility framework – challenge our staff to think critically about their own biases and perspectives as a result of colonialism

  • Get to know each Indigenous child and family and fully support their autonomy knowing that they are fully capable with or without us



From October to December 2018, eight staff members, from interns through leadership, engaged in a 10 session Truth and Reconciliation Course offered online by the University of British Columbia. Last year eight members of our professional services team have all completed the Indigenous Cultural Safety Training through Sanyas. Starting this August 2020, two staff, in leadership roles, are taking the Indigenous Canada course provided online by the University of Alberta. Additionally, two senior managers will begin training in a yearlong, cohort based training, through the Federation of Community Social Services of BC and the University of Calgary, Transformative Reconciliation in Community Social Services – governance, policy, program, and practice.  

Circle of Hands

Adopted the Aboriginal Policy and Practice Framework in British Columbia – 2020

Traditional Homes and Totems Early Learning Training

Thank you to Brenda Redden, Many Voices One Mind, Indigenous Early Childhood Development Coordinator and Carol Kerfoot, Reach Child and Youth Development Society for donating beautiful Traditional Homes and Totems resource kit


Observing Orange Shirt Day and with our Children, Families and Staff.



This year the children at Alderwood created a play called “An Unlikely Friendship”– it was written and performed by the children about a friendship between animals


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Observing National Aboriginal Day

Participating in National Aboriginal Day – bringing our children and families to this yearly event at Trout Lake in Vancouver

Opening of Cindrich

Collaborations between communities to serve our children and families in a holistic way. Traditional weaving with a new twist as a way of representing diverse communities coming together to serve for one purpose.



2017 Federation of Aboriginal Foster Parents closes and leaves materials for us to use with our children and families – including this drum – “we are all one drum and we need each other.”

Richard Wagemese

Art and the visual world is woven through our learning environments under the guidance of our with Indigenous Education Enhancement staff.


“My totem pole is a raven. I chose to make a raven because they are tricksters and healers. I really like touching slimy paper mache and creating a work of art that will be displayed for all to see. It was a challenge cutting cardboard. It was fun doing the paper mache and painting.”

11 year old child


National Truth and Reconciliation Event at the Forum in Vancouver, staff volunteered to assist and witness the National TRC event held at the PNE.

TRC March in Vancouver where TCF staff participated in this March.

Impacts of Residential Schools Training Monique Gray Smith

You Hold Me Up Book Cover.jpg



Incorporating outdoor learning and learning from animals in our Horse Power Program



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Working with Elders – Opening at The Centre for Childhood Neurodevelopment, Education and Family Wellbeing –

Thank you Elder Gill!


3 Sisters Garden

Working with our children teaching reciprocity with land and Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Sweat Lodge Collaboration

2006 to 2009 Collaborated with the Federation of Aboriginal Foster Parents to build and provide sweat lodge healing to families on site.


2009 Sweetgrass Ceremony Teachings – Rock the Baby Consulting


2007 – Mukwa Teepee Seminar and Workshop – included ceremonial harvest of poles, pole preparation with our children and teepee pole teachings. Five teepees were purchased our children were involved in the teachings and learnings. In 2018 these teepees were gifted to the Vancouver School Board’s Indigenous Enhancement Program.


Circle of Courage

2004 to 2006 Drumming with Elder Fred John

2003 Making drums with our children 

Drums have been installed as a permanent installation at Alderwood. Each drum installed represents a value from Martin Brokenlegs’ Circle of Courage.


2002 – Medicine Wheel and 4 Directions Training – Carol Pruden – Metis sash gifted to TCF from Carol Pruden, TCF staff member.