A message from Richard Jock, FNHA Chief Executive Officer
*Content Warning* This message may trigger unpleasant feelings or thoughts. Please contact the 24-Hour KUU-US Crisis Line at 1-800-588-8717 if you need emotional support. A complete listing of support services is included at the end of this statement.
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is honouring the second official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30. This federal day that is observed as a statutory holiday was one of the 94 Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015. The public commemoration of the tragic and painful ongoing impacts that residential schools have had on First Nations communities is a vital component of the reconciliation process.The past year has been extremely challenging for First Nations people and communities. The findings of children at former Indian Residential Schools across the country, the recent visit from Pope Francis and the tragic events at James Smith Cree Nation have further compounded the impacts of intergenerational trauma. We acknowledge the significance of these events and the impacts that has had on First Nations communities, survivors and Elders.
Sept. 30 is a chance to reflect on what we can continue to do as individuals, communities and an organization to advance reconciliation and continue to commit to learning and deepening our understanding of our shared history. For First Nations people, it's a time to share the truth about our history from our perspectives and a time for our allies to witness the sharing of our stories with humility. It is also an opportunity to honour all the survivors, their families, and their communities and to remember those who didn't make it home. Every child matters.
FNHA recognizes that this day may be difficult, as the healing from complex intergenerational trauma, the impacts of residential schools and other recent events is a work in progress. We support all BC First Nations as they continue to heal through the culture and ceremonies that were taken away by the residential school system. Please check with your Nation, community, band office, local friendship centre or municipality to find out how you can participate in local events on this day. We encourage you to take care of their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness during this time. If you require support, please see the resource list below and reach out.
Wellness and Cultural Supports:
FNHA's Mental Health and Wellness Supports page: Mental Health and Wellness Supports (fnha.ca) Tsow-Tun-Le-Lum Society (cultural support and counselling): 1-888-403-3123
Indian Residential School Survivors Society: 1-800-721-0066 or 604-985-4464
KUU-US Crisis Line Society: Adults/Elders: 250-723-4050; Children/Youth: 250-723-2040; Toll-free: 1-800-588-8717
In Health and Wellness
Richard Jock, FNHA Chief Executive Officer