Consultant Jackie Hogue to advise CHF Canada on reconciliation
Published October 30, 2019
CHF Canada’s work on an action plan for reconciliation with Indigenous people is well underway. Facilitated by Winnipeg consultant Jackie Hogue, CHF Canada is following up on members’ 2018 resolution with research, focus groups and surveys.
“Reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous people is a journey, and not a project”, says Patricia Tessier, CHF Canada’s Director, Member Services. “Our reconciliation journey started in 2018, and it will take as long as it takes.”
Patricia is talking about the work CHF Canada is doing to fulfill a policy resolution passed by delegates at CHF Canada’s 2018 annual meeting in Victoria, BC. The resolution called on CHF Canada to develop a plan for reconciliation to guide its future actions in working with Indigenous people. It asked CHF Canada to help member housing co-ops act on reconciliation.
The resolution recognized that the co-op housing movement could play a role in responding to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In its 94 Calls for Action, the Commission asked all Canadians to help remedy and repair an historical legacy of colonialism in Indigenous education, culture and language, health, child welfare, justice, economic opportunity and prosperity.
The CHF Canada resolution also said that CHF Canada should seek expert advice. Jackie Hogue is a Winnipeg consultant with Métis and Polish settler ancestry who helps organizations and community groups improve their understanding of Indigenous people. She has undertaken many successful projects, mostly in Manitoba.
In early 2019, CHF Canada and Jackie Hogue decided to work together on a two-part action plan. Jackie will deliver guidelines for a framework for reconciliation and recommend strategies for CHF Canada to build meaningful relationships with Indigenous people.
Tools for co-ops
A second part of Jackie’s report will offer a tool kit for housing co-ops and other member organizations to use within their own communities.
“Reconciliation is the collective work of all Canadians,” says Jackie. “Canada has a collective history of colonialization and systemic racism, and the effects of that history are visible today. We need to work across all sectors to make changes—we need to change ourselves, our structures and our organizations.”
“The goal is that Indigenous people have the same human rights and opportunities as every Canadian.”
The work is underway. Reconciliation was on the agenda of the fall planning session of CHF Canada’s Board of Directors and Ontario Council, and staff at their planning meeting. CHF Canada’s Diversity Committee has been involved, to help the consultant understand the strong commitment to diversity within Canada’s co-op housing movement. Housing co-ops that have undertaken programs related to Indigenous people have been part of the process.
CHF Canada hosted a workshop and a panel at its 2019 annual meeting. At the meeting, participants could write what reconciliation meant to them, for all to consider. CHF Canada also published a land acknowledgement resource that co-ops can use at their meetings.
Jackie is conducting more consultations with members, including a member survey and focus group discussions. Her report and recommendations will be considered by CHF Canada’s Board and Ontario Council in March 2020, in time for the action plan to be presented to delegates at the June 2020 annual meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Tina Stevens, from Native Inter-Tribal Housing Co-op in London, Ontario, serves as CHF Canada’s Director Representing the Indigenous Community. A champion for reconciliation, Tina puts it this way: “Indigenous people’s legal and human rights have been violated for centuries. Although Canada can never fully repair the harm that has occurred, reconciliation can help to build new bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people across Canada. It’s an opportunity to educate Canadians about the violation of Indigenous people, and so it’s wonderful that housing co-operatives are participating.”
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