Together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for the generations to come

Press release – Welland (Ontario), September 28th 2022

We would like to acknowledge that the lands on which we are gathered are part of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabe traditional territory, many of whom continue to live and work here today. 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.

For over 150 years, in the month of September, more than 150,000 Aboriginal children were taken from their homes and sent to residential schools where they were denied their basic needs and human rights. National Day of Truth and Reconciliation or more commonly known as Orange Shirt Day, September 30th was designated as a date to create a safe space to talk about this dark event in our shared history, about the lingering impacts of intergenerational trauma and, to support the journey towards healing.

Because EVERY child matters and to ensure that no one goes through this again, we need to learn more and reflect on the residential school experience. For a future that takes responsibility for the wrongs of the past, we need to get the truth out.  For only when every Canadian recognizes and understands more about the crimes committed in residential schools can we move forward and begin to heal.

The Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton/Niagara family unites with the entire country in honouring the many murdered and missing First Nations children, women and girls. We extends our deepest sympathies to all First Nations people affected by the deep scars left by historical trauma, assimilation and cultural genocide. We further commit ourselves, as a work unit and as individuals, to support survivors, their families, their communities, and to oppose all forms of racism, violence and intimidation.

There is still a long way to go to heal and it is our duty to never forget, in our journey to a better tomorrow, that we must listen to each other, believe in each other and be there for each other.

Let us work toward a future where EVERY child, regardless of culture, race or religion, has the right to equal opportunity and fair treatment.

Let us work toward a future where EVERY child knows they have a right to love, respect and dignity.

To commit to change and focus on hope, join us on September 30 by wearing orange to honor the children who never went home and are still waiting to speak their truth.

If you too are interested in contributing to reconciliation efforts, we invite you to learn more about the history and social contribution of First Nations people, and to learn about land recognition in your region.


France Vaillancourt, Executive Director

Phone. : (905) 734-1141 – www.cschn.ca

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