In June of this year, the federal government passed legislation to mark September 30, 2021, as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Earlier this month, the Province of BC followed suit recognizing this as a day of commemoration in the public sector.
Covenant House Vancouver recognizes the importance of officially honouring National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, which is consistent with our ongoing commitments and actions to advance reconciliation.
We know from annual homeless counts in Vancouver that Indigenous peoples are over-represented in many areas including homelessness. We know racism, systemic racism, prejudice, oppression, and historical trauma contribute to this over-representation. In the 2020 Vancouver Homeless Count Indigenous people were 13.2 times more likely to experience homelessness and last year 29% of the youth served at Covenant House self-identified as Indigenous.
We will be providing onsite programming and activities for young people including:
- Books by Indigenous authors
- An Indigenous artist created art giveaways for the youth
- We will be screening a short film related to residential schools with a follow-up discussion for interested youth
Two of our Registered Clinical Counselors, Keith and Marcia, and our Spiritual Care Practitioner Kadee will be on-site to support youth and staff for the latter as we know the content and experience may be triggering or upsetting for some especially for those with lived experience.
This may be a difficult day and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society Emergency Crisis Line is available 24/7 for those that may need counselling or support. You can call 1-800-721-0066 or the 24-hr crisis line 1-866-925-4419.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation provides an opportunity for us to learn about and reflect on dark chapters in our country’s history and to commemorate residential school survivors, their families, and their communities. Covenant House Vancouver remains committed to promoting truth and reconciliation in our community and is committed to respectfully honouring the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.