“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
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.