During a team conversation about the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, our ESG Research Lead, Elvin Madamba, shared a profound reflection that truly depicted the significance of this day.

We found his words so powerful that we wanted to share them with you. We hope this text reaches your heart and leads you to your own learnings and reflections today.

“When the news broke out of the unmarked graves at the residential schools throughout Canada, of course, I was appalled. To be honest, I am still generally disappointed with the lack of swift accountability from governments, from churches. Particularly at this moment, I am disappointed that today, September 30, is not a widespread holiday. Sure, some offices are closed. But the fact that not everyone has this day to take some time to reflect, for me, cheapens the purpose of having a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Most folks would still continue on with their day as if any other working day. I urge everyone from this point to do better.

I hope we can reflect on how we can stand in solidarity with our Indigenous siblings, especially given our work in ESG and sustainability that rightfully should intersect with Indigenous rights, not just for today, but in everything we do. Actually, more important than ever is to look to the old wisdom of the original stewards as they know exactly what it means to be sustainable and to be responsible citizens of earth.

We all have our weight to bear as settlers in their land and it is definitely a complex issue for me – being an immigrant in this country, I know what it feels like to be displaced from where you’re from, but at the same time, I am participating in the displacement. It is an ongoing education, but some immediate recommendations that have helped me, which I gleaned from my professor at Waterloo, Dr. Amelia Clarke:

– Have a read/skim if you must the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action
– Read/skim the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP)
– See – UN-REDD Programme. (2013). Guidelines on Free, Prior, Informed Consent (FPIC). Geneva, Switzerland: UN-REDD.
– Read p. 8-10, 16, 18-20 to get a better understanding of FRIC

Some questions to help guide your reflection:

  1. When you consider the widespread abuse that happened to these innocent children, when you attempt to comprehend the significant loss of life that occurred for years in the residential school system, what is your initial reaction?
  2. What emotions are you feeling right now?
  3. What are some tangible things you can do within your own family, your own church or your own community?
  4. Are there action steps that you can think of in educating yourself further about the significant loss of life of Indigenous children? How can you involve others in this learning process?”

Lastly, we encourage everyone to join the Secwépemc Honour Song at 5:15 PM ET, traditionally sung at Secwépemc gatherings. Streaming available on CBCNews.ca


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