BBBST ACKNOWLEDGES THAT WE ARE ON THE TRADITIONAL TERRITORY OF MANY NATIONS INCLUDING THE MISSISSAUGAS OF THE CREDIT, THE ANISHNABEG, THE CHIPPEWA, THE HAUDENOSAUNEE AND THE WENDAT PEOPLES AND IS NOW HOME TO MANY DIVERSE FIRST NATIONS, INUIT AND MÉTIS PEOPLES. WE ALSO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT TORONTO IS COVERED BY TREATY 13 WITH THE MISSISSAUGAS OF THE CREDIT.
Today, June 21st, 2021 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, the 25th anniversary of celebrating the heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.
This year, with the numerous discoveries of residential school victims’ graves, it is more important than ever to continue to expose the truth about the atrocities committed against the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples of Canada, and take actionable steps towards reconciliation. It serves as a reminder that First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples are still negotiating their inherent rights to the land and their relationships in Canada. Earlier this year, 215 remains of children were found at The Kamloops Indian Residential School in BC, 104 potential graves were detected at the Brandon Indian Residential School in Manitoba, 35 unmarked graves have been found at the Muscowequan Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan, and graves continue to be uncovered. We must do our part to acknowledge and recognize this indigenous history in both Toronto and Canada.
There are a resources available to those who are looking to learn more about Indigenous history including:
- Mentor Canada’s steps towards reconciliation. Click here to read more on actions you can take as an organization to foster positive and more culturally responsive mentoring programs for and with Indigenous children, youth, families, and communities.
- Canadian Museum for Human Rights
- CBC has put together a fulsome list of resources that spans literature, online resources, and everything in between
At BBBST we are committed to providing a safe space for each and every one of our mentors and mentees. We believe that a diverse group Bigs of Littles who have gone through similar life experiences, allows for each and every one of them to have a safe space where they can talk about events occurring in their lives and connect with one another.
While the Ontario government has recently announced a $10 million pledge to identify and commemorate residential school burial sites, there is still much more work that needs to be done across the country. It is incredibly important for us all to do our part to learn about Canada’s history and take steps towards reconciliation.