Each year, September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. A day to honour and mourn the children whose lives were stolen and whose way of life was decimated by the residential school system.
We recognize that these “schools” were merely a single symptom of a vicious and cyclical history of genocide against the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples of this country. The intent to eradicate and erase the existence of languages, cultures, traditions, and homes is felt and perpetuated to this day. Generations of survivors, families, and communities have been gravely harmed and traumatized by colonial violence and healing will require a sense of accountability and contemplation from all those who have settled on this stolen land.
As we move into the month of October, having spent the weekend observing and reflecting on our own positionality in the structures of colonial violence, our focus remains steadfast on deconstructing the meaning behind the space we occupy and working toward genuine allyship. The truth is, by participating in existing structures of power and politics, we are complicit in ongoing harm and subjugation. We are committed to having critical and urgent conversations concerning how colonial systems maintain and perpetuate the suppression of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit safety, security, and self-governance.
Despite the efforts of governments past and present, first communities remain resilient in their ability to survive and advocate for themselves, though this resiliency has come at a terrible cost. We aim to use our work as a vehicle for reconciliation by working directly with communities, governmental agencies, and organizations focused on the well-being, prosperity, and autonomy of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. This position is a tremendous privilege and we do not take it lightly.
At ParriagGroup, our learning is always ongoing and contextualized in our commitment to anti-racist and decolonial practice. The conversation will never be over, and the more folks who are willing to recognize this, the better. We also recognize that we are, in no way, the reigning authority on the matter. We urge you to listen to those oppressed by colonial violence and to be humble in your lifelong journey of un-learning and reconciling. More to the point, we would like to articulate that learning and listening are only the first steps in allyship. Consider where your action, resources, or voices might be best applied.
Equity, accountability, and reconciliation are top priorities for us. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.