National Aboriginal Day
Tonii Lerat is a Community Planner from our Saskatoon office:
“National Aboriginal Day is an opportunity to celebrate the unique cultural stories, histories, and art of Canada’s diverse Indigenous people. By sharing and celebrating together with non-indigenous Canadians we can learn from the past, share stories and connect with one another on a personal level. This is also an opportunity to celebrate the common thread between our diverse Indigenous nations, which is the resiliency of our communities despite the hardship of our shared past. Let’s come together and celebrate a more inclusive Canada.”
Carl Archie is a First Nations Community Consultant in Kamloops:
“Nearly a year ago today, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released their calls to action. Call to action 92 for Business and Reconciliation reads as follows:
92. We call upon the corporate sector in Canada to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as a reconciliation framework and to apply its principles, norms, and standards to corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous peoples and their lands and resources.
“The unique combination of competencies and understanding of Urban Systems place us well to respond positively to the call to action. In particular, Articles 32 and 39 of the UNDRIP place Urban Systems well to affect reconciliation in partnership with the communities in which we work.
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources.
2. States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.
3. States shall provide effective mechanism for just and fair redress for any such activities, and appropriate measures shall be taken to mitigate adverse environmental, economic, social, cultural or spiritual impact.
Indigenous peoples have the right to have access to financial and technical assistance from States and through international cooperation, for the enjoyment of the rights contained in this Declaration.
“It’s important for us to be aware of and be intentional about ways each of us can bring about reconciliation in Canada.”
Jody Rechenmacher is a Community Infrastructure Consultant in our Vancouver office:
“Two things I’ve learned about reconciliation are that it means different things to different people, and that it’s a journey, not a single act. Reconciliation isn’t just governments releasing reports and making grand statements; we all have a role to play. For many of us, it starts with confronting our own ignorance and seeking out the books, the conversations, and other means of learning things about Canada’s history that we probably weren’t taught in school. Learning about our history is the only way we can begin to understand why things are the way they are today, and how we can move forward together towards reconciliation.
“I know I can learn about our history any (and every) day of the year, but to me National Aboriginal Day is an incredible opportunity to come together with others in my community for learning and celebrations of rich cultures and strong, resilient peoples. And sometimes, it’s also a great chance to try some amazing food!”
To learn more about National Aboriginal Day visit here.