Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day

Last year, IPAC Manitoba worked with the Manitoba Treaty Relations Commissioner’s Office to develop a land acknowledgement. Included in that acknowledgement is the following:

“We recognize that public administration and public policy have been used as tools of colonialism, and the harm this has caused Indigenous people.  We are committed to promoting public administration in a way that advances reconciliation in a spirit of collaboration with Indigenous people and communities.”

In light of the ongoing recognition of the effects of Residential Schools and colonialism on Indigenous people, and the recent discovery of the remains of 215 children on the grounds of the former Residential School on Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation in Kamloops, recognizing the negative impacts of public administration is as important now as it has ever been.

Ultimately, one of the more useful things a group like IPAC Manitoba can do is create space and use our platform to let Indigenous people share their knowledge. That was the spirit behind our recent workshop on “Truth and Reconciliation During a Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities,” which you can now find on Youtube.

We are extremely grateful to the panelists: Dr. Laara Fitznor, Diane Redsky, Annetta Armstrong, and Kendell Joiner; moderator Leona McIntyre, and facilitators Fran Mulhall and Rebecca McKay. Without their participation and willingness to share their knowledge, this event would not have happened.

We know that this needs to be an ongoing conversation, and to that end, we are happy to share a resource document that we received from Leona McIntyre (thank you again Leona!).

During our recent event, Diane Redsky noted that she has often heard Elders say “If you’re doing an event on Truth and Reconciliation and it’s easy, you’re doing it wrong.” The conversation may not always be easy, but we are committed to having it, and thank our Indigenous friends and colleagues for being willing to share their experience.

Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Emmet Collins

Chair, IPAC Manitoba

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