Indigenous History Month a time to honour past and present
Today marks the first day of National Indigenous History Month; a time to honour the history, heritage, and diversity of Indigenous people as well as to recognize the strength of present-day Indigenous people and their communities. The month arrives at a time when so many are dealing with the shock, anger, and sadness over the recent discovery at a former residential school in Kamloops.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada says that, in order to establish and maintain a mutually respectful relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, “there has to be awareness of the past, an acknowledgement of the harm that has been inflicted, atonement for the causes, and action to change behaviour.”
A number of events will be held this month in Saskatoon that will provide residents with this opportunity for learning, reflection, and demonstrating their support for Reconciliation. A calendar of some of these events can be found at saskatoon.ca/Indigenous. The Reconciliation Saskatoon flag has also been raised in Civic Square (behind City Hall; 23rd Street, between 3rd and 4th avenues), where it will remain on display until June 4th.
Saskatoon Mayor, Charlie Clark says: “Saskatoon is in an important time of reckoning with Truth and Reconciliation. I am very grateful to the Elders and Survivors who have provided such patient leadership and guidance to our city and the many organizations and businesses who are walking this path. I am also grateful for all of the community leaders who have stepped forward with humility, to be part of the change to a healthier and more equitable Treaty relationship. This is a time to move from words to action – as a city, in our schools, in our workplaces, in our neighbourhoods. We all have a part to play.”
Saskatoon Tribal Council’s Tribal Chief, Mark Arcand says: “As a First Nations organization serving many members in Saskatoon, we have been very pleased with the outcomes and results of past and current initiatives with the City of Saskatoon. Most notable in recent years, the City of Saskatoon has acknowledged the work of Elders and planning committees with the Reconciliation Flag Raising as an event that will continue to leave a lasting impression as a result of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action.”
President of the Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI), Shirley Isbister says: “Indigenous History Month provides the opportunity for everyone to learn about, share, and celebrate Indigenous cultures. We are peoples with varying cultures, customs, and languages. We are all a part of a shared history with common goals and aspirations.”
The City of Saskatoon co-chairs Reconciliation Saskatoon. Reconciliation Saskatoon is a community of over 115 organizations, non-profits, businesses, and partners who have come together towards one mission: to initiate a citywide conversation about Reconciliation and provide opportunities for everyone to engage in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. Learn more about Reconciliation Saskatoon.