Throughout the month of June, National Indigenous History Month, we have the opportunity to learn about, appreciate, and preserve the unique and rich cultures, traditions, and experiences of Indigenous peoples.
Indigenous peoples were the original inhabitants of Turtle Island, what is now known as Canada. With colonisation and white settlement, Indigenous peoples and cultures were threatened by colonial practices that sought to control and assimilate these groups. Practices such as reserves, pass systems, and residential schools - the last of which closed only 27 years ago - have had devastating and long lasting effects on the health and socio-economic well-being of Indigenous peoples.
Throughout history and to this day, Indigenous peoples have faced many injustices and been subject to unfair and inhumane treatment. In order to move forward in the spirit of truth and reconciliation, we must acknowledge and understand the effects of this history, and take steps towards being part of the solution.