Our hearts go out to the First Nation communities in Canada and particularly the families of the thousands of children found in unmarked graves at former residential schools across multiple provinces.
All of us working and volunteering at HPCO are deeply saddened by this news and what occurred at Indian Residential Schools in Canada. The horrific treatment of the children and the pain and grief of their families is unimaginable.
Systemic attacks and injustices inflicted on First Nations people by Canada is fact. Hospice Palliative Care Ontario recognizes that healing and reconciliation are not possible through statements or one-time events but a journey that we must walk with First Nations people. We do our part to heal and correct the wrongs of the past. We all must do our part in pursuing the path of truthful and open dialogue about past and present treatment of our Indigenous brothers and sisters. Healing is only possible if each and every one of us does our part in taking action to create a fair and equitable future for Indigenous peoples in Canada.
Organizations may also take steps to support healing and reconciliation. Here are some of the actions taken by HPCO.
- The team at HPCO have committed to their learning about First Nations experience and have dedicated time for this learning.
- A Bursary for First Nations Health Care Workers was created in 2018 providing eight full registrations and accommodations at the annual hospice palliative care conference. In 2021, the virtual conference offered 20 such bursaries.
- Provided a Sacred Space for prayers and smudging at the annual hospice palliative care conference since 2018.
- A free online First Nations Caregiver Training program was created in 2018.
- In 2021 HPCO commenced a review of Hospice Standards to support equitable access to hospice palliative care and strengthen equity, diversity, and inclusion in hospice care.
HPCO will continue to look for ways to learn and better understand the needs of First Nations people and we will continue to look inward towards self-improvement.
To learn more about Indian Residential Schools and their traumatic impact on First Nations please visit these links:
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- TRC Report Volume 4 – Canada’s Residential Schools: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials
- Assembly of First Nations – It’s Our Time – Residential Schools Toolkit
- Aboriginal Healing Foundation – Residential School Resources Directory
- An Overview of the Indian Residential School System booklet
- Legacy of Hope Foundation Where Are the Children
- Orange Shirt Society and Orange Shirt Day Resources for September 30
If you would like to donate in support the ongoing process of Truth and Reconciliation, consider one of these organizations:
You may also wish to donate to Hospice Palliative Care Ontario’s First Nations Bursary Fund which provides bursaries for health care workers from First Nations to attend the annual Hospice Palliative Care conference.
We encourage everyone to take active steps to learn more about First Nations in the areas where you live and work.
Learn More About First Nations In Ontario
Chiefs of Ontario – Understanding First Nations Sovereignty
To identify the land that you are on, check out this app: Whose Land (apple iOs)
Provincial Territorial Organizations in Ontario
First Nations Websites