As we recognize the inaugural National Day for Truth & Reconciliation, we're honoured to elevate the stories and voices of our Indigenous team members. This story was written by Lorisha, a Saulteau First Nations member and Community Workforce Accommodation Advisor Program Coordinator working on Coastal GasLink.
Lorisha is a Saulteau First Nations member and a Community Workforce Accommodation (CWAA) Program coordinator for Coastal GasLink.
“As we come up to the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, I think of the stories and lived histories of my mom’s people, the Kwakwaka’wakw of northern Vancouver Island and of my dad’s people, the Dunne-Za and Cree of Treaty 8 in North East B.C. The day is an opportunity for Canadians to honor survivors and those lost from residential schools. It’s an opportunity to self-reflect – is there more I can do as a Canadian to know more about the local Indigenous people where I live and in my region; what action can I do to show support for the healing process of Indigenous communities; how can I contribute to a healthier understanding of Indigenous-lived lives so I’m more informed of how to break down the stereotypes one has about Indigenous people?
Indigenous stereotypes exist for a reason. What are those reasons? How are they wrong and what were the policies, legislation and laws that existed that have repressed Indigenous peoples for decades? Each Canadian can undertake actions that contribute to a healthier understanding of Indigenous people – read a book from an Indigenous author, buy from Indigenous-owned businesses, follow Indigenous people on social media, or find out how to say the Indigenous name of local Nations and the Indigenous name of their territory. These are just some of the actions a person can do.
Canada provided a statutory holiday and that seems like the wrong word for it: I see it as a reflective day, like Remembrance Day. I’m grateful for the resiliency of my parents’ people that our culture survived the multitude of ways it was repressed from the government, and I’m looking forward to spending the day with the Coastal GasLink Work Package 1 Construction Monitor and Community Liaison and Community Workforce Accommodation Advisor teams, sharing a lunch and being together to honour those who have gone before us and for those still here today contributing to healthier Indigenous communities.”