Press release – Welland (Ontario), June 21st 2022
We would like to begin by acknowledging that the lands on which we are gathered are part of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe traditional territory. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties, is part of the lands protected by the Wampum Belt Agreement called Dish With One Spoon, and is directly adjacent to the Haldimand Treaty Territory.
Today, June 21, is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. It is a time to celebrate the power of light and an opportunity for introspection. In order to grow and evolve as an individual and as a Nation, it is our duty to reflect and determine how best to improve ourselves so that we do not repeat the actions of the past.
Many will proclaim that we must live in the present and prepare for the future. While this is wise, there are always lessons to be learned from reflecting on the past. Indeed, as the famous American philosopher and educator John Dewey said: We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.
Not coincidentally, since First Nations peoples have celebrated the summer solstice for generations, June 21 also marks the 26th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day. Reflecting on the past on this date is therefore most appropriate. Let us reflect consciously and deliberately on the devastating effects of colonialism that is, still today, an ongoing process.
The Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton/Niagara family recognizes the devastating effects of collective and intergenerational trauma and invites you to contribute to the efforts towards reconciliation.
We would also like to pay tribute to the many First Nations children, women and girls who have been killed and are missing, and to express our deepest sympathies to residential school survivors, their families, communities and all First Nations people affected by a painful past and the trauma associated with history.
Throughout the day, you will find content on Canadian television and radio stations celebrating the rich heritage and legacy of Indigenous peoples. As we do, please tune in with your family to celebrate the cultural diversity and extraordinary achievements of these peoples, the Inuit and the Métis.
It is our duty to reflect individually in a deep and conscious way, but also, since it will have a greater power, collectively. We invite you once again to contribute to the efforts of reconciliation and to learn more about the history and social contribution of First Nations people.
France Vaillancourt, Executive Director
Phone. : (905) 734-1141 – www.cschn.ca