Today we celebrate and mourn for the Indigenous Peoples of Canada who have contributed so much to the fabric of this country, despite having had so much taken from them.
It’s the least we can do to take the longest day of the year, where in certain parts of Canada the sun will not set, to celebrate Indigenous heritage. In fact, for centuries Indigenous Peoples have held celebrations on the summer solstice celebrating both their heritage and the dawn of summer, which is why June 21 was chosen 25 years ago as National Indigenous People’s Day in Canada.
However, we know that one day – or even one month – is simply not enough to educate ourselves. We must commit to continuous education, to generational healing, to not just saying words but taking action when it comes to truth and reconciliation.
We understand that employment statistics are significantly lower for Indigenous Peoples, with an even larger drop in employment numbers among Indigenous women. At BOWEN we are passionate about connecting under-represented groups with employment opportunities. In 2017, we created Stream Source, an Indigenous-owned staffing firm, committed to recruiting from within Indigenous communities to secure long-term sustainable employment and partnerships for Indigenous Peoples and businesses.
There’s still so much education and learning to be done. We ask you to watch this honest and heartbreaking video from The Ballantyne Project on residential school survivors and their descendants.
In the spirit of reconciliation and gratitude, we at BOWEN Group acknowledge that we live, work and play on the traditional territories of the the Tsuut’ina, the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, and the Métis Nation (Region 3). We acknowledge the Indigenous Peoples who have lived in and cared for these lands for generations and are grateful for the traditional Knowledge Keepers and Elders who continue to educate us and for those who have gone before us. We make this acknowledgement as an act of reconciliation and gratitude to those whose territory we take up space in.
For continuous learning on Indigenous history and how you can make a difference please check out the following additional resources:
- Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
- The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Reports
- Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
- 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People National Action Plan: Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People
- Indigenous Awareness Canada – Online Training Courses
- Indigenous Canada – University of Alberta MOOC
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action