It is with profound sorrow that we must again bear witness to the ongoing tragedy affecting our Indigenous peoples. The latest news from Saskatchewan shared by Cowessess First Nation upon confirmation of 751 unmarked graves near Marieval Residential School continues to challenge us, as Canadians, to confront the dark side of our past. We have a long way to go to fully understand the deep impact of the residential school system on Indigenous communities.
As I reflect on the work we do with our community partners in support of vulnerable populations and, in particular, of individuals of Indigenous ancestry, I am reminded of the importance of conducting our work with compassion and humility.
As a mother, aunt, sister and daughter I literally cannot comprehend the experience of a parent having a child ripped from their home never to return again.
We all know there is a long way to go and we are strongly committed to our ambition to promote the reconciliation necessary to break down barriers by giving, receiving, listening and reaching out in love.
I am so glad that our strategy names “reaching out in love,” because this has never been so needed.
-Patricia Jones, President and CEO, Calgary Homeless Foundation
Support is available:
- National Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419. This line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their Residential school experience.
- Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary: 403-801-7482. Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary’s Elder line is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. for individuals in need of support.
- Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society’s 24 Hour Crisis Line: 403-531-1972 or 403-531-1976.
- 211 Alberta: Call 2-1-1, Text INFO to 211, or Chat with 211 at https://ab.211.ca/
- Distress Centre’s 24-Hour Support Line: 403-266-HELP (4357)