June 21, 2018 is National Indigenous Peoples Day.
Truth and Reconciliation has been a key focus for us at the YMCA of Oakville. We have partnered with other community agencies and organizations to bring a series of events and discussions on Truth and Reconciliation in Halton, focused on bringing Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the community together to build a shared understanding and a renewed relationship.
Our 2017 Peace Week was centred around Truth and Reconciliation. Kicking off the week with our Annual Candlelight Walk for Peace, we unveiled a Land Treaty Acknowledgment plaque in our front garden and heard reflections from local Indigenous Knowledge Guide Stephen Paquette and Chief Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the Credit. Our Annual Community Breakfast for Peace featured keynote speaker Gabrielle Scrimshaw, a First Nations advocate with a passion for social change. Following the Community Breakfast for Peace we held an Indigenous panel for youth from local high schools, featuring Indigenous experts on a variety of topics.
Our Youth Engagement department participated in a number of Indigenous learning experiences, including a blanket exercise open to youth in our TAG, Just the Guys, and other programs. Participants in our Counsellors in Training summer camp program visited the Woodland Centre to learn about the history of the Woodland people and life in a residential school. Later in 2018, a group of youth will be experiencing a trip to Temagami, in partnership with Appleby College, for a unique experience immersed in Indigenous culture.
This has only been the start of our journey, and on National Indigenous Peoples Day we are proud to share YMCA Canada’s Statement of Truth and Reconciliation and strengthen our dedication to Truth and Reconciliation.
Read the full statement here.