June 21, 2021 / By: J.Greenwell

Indigenous People's Day

Personal Interest, Resources
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Companies frequently use days like this as an opportunity to post something and change nothing.

We recognize that the work of addressing our Canadian history -- a history which includes as much sorrow as joy, a history whose victims far outnumber its heroes -- is not a simple task, but it is a necessary and important one. As a company which serves and employs indigenous persons and a substantial portion of whose operations take place on unceded territory, it is incumbent upon us to participate when invited to do so in the ways those persons tell us we can help.

The horrific discovery of 215 children's bodies at the site of Kamloops Residential School has shaken our country and forced even the most reluctant to acknowledge these grave crimes. They found 215 victim's bodies, but the number of victims whose bodies were not recovered that day, and the number of victims who still live under that weight is far higher.

We have a lot of work to do.

We aren't here to offer solutions, we can't do that. We're here to listen to the solutions which our indigenous community offers or requires, and to amplify their individual and collective voices and demands.

As such, we intend to use this day and many others going forward to raise awareness of those putting in the work on reconciliation and promote education so we can look forward to brighter shared futures.

If you have any resources or recommendations you'd like to add, please email communications@mainst.biz.



History of (the original) Orange Shirt Day

"We Were Children" – NFB Film on Residential Schools

Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

The Calgary Public Library has put together an excellent collection of Indigenous Poetry.

James Daschuk's book Clearing the Plains reveals how Canada's first Prime Minister used a policy of starvation against Indigenous people to clear the way for settlement. This award-winning book sparked widespread debate about genocide in Canada, and is an important read for anyone trying to understand our history.

Sheldon Krasowski's book No Surrender details the Canada government's chicanery at the heart of negotiations with First Nations, demonstrating how the land remains Indigenous.

Charlie Angus's book Children of the Broken Treaty exposes a system of apartheid in Canada that led to the largest youth-driven human rights movement in the country's history.

Michel Hogue's book Metis and the Medicine Line is a look at how national borders and notions of race were created and manipulated to unlock access to indigenous lands.

Artist Kent Monkman explores themes of colonization, sexuality, loss, and resilience—the complexities of historic and contemporary Indigenous experiences—across painting, film/video, performance, and installation. His painted works* are absolutely beautiful and truly important. *Warning: certain images are graphically explicit.

IRSSS - @IRSSurvivor