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Discussions about of Truth and Reconciliation at CHF Canada’s Annual Meeting

Published October 04

Two women stand on either side of a man, all smiling, and wearing items of clothing specific to their Indigenous heritage.At CHF Canada’s Annual Meeting last spring, Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, and the role CHF Canada should play in this process, was front and centre on the agenda.

Included in the program were two workshops focused on Indigenous issues, an official welcome and greeting by local First Nations, and Resolution 3: Housing co-ops and Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

The two workshops were Building Relationships with Indigenous Communities and the KAIROS Blanket Exercise. The building relationships workshop gave members the opportunity to discuss issues facing Indigenous communities and how to develop meaningful partnerships. The KAIROS Blanket Exercise gave participants the opportunity to experience the effects of colonization in Canada and witness the strength and resiliency of Indigenous Peoples.

At the National Business Meeting, members were welcomed by Chief Edward Thomas of the Esquimalt First Nation. Chief Thomas (pictured, center, with Tina Stevens and Linda Campbell) discussed CHF Canada’s reconciliation efforts and highlighted that “the only way we can move forward is by building relationships.”

The welcome and greetings ended with then President Nicole Waldron presenting Chief Thomas with a blanket, which is a traditional offering for the Esquimalt. Nicole stated, “this was such a pivotal moment as I listened to Chief Edward Thomas speak about relationship building as a path towards reconciliation. I am happy to see the steps that CHF Canada has taken and continues to take, and I hope that co-ops across Canada will join us on the path towards reconciliation.”

Later on during the National Business Meeting, members enthusiastically supported Resolution 3 calling on CHF Canada to undertake, with appropriate Indigenous guidance and advice, a plan for reconciliation that will guide the organization’s future actions and encourage member housing co-ops to reflect on ways that their co-op community can take action.

Exiting Aboriginal Director, Linda Campbell said she feels the resolution is “a step in the right direction and an open invitation to our people” and added that she is “happy with the progress CHF Canada has made over the past couple of years towards learning, reflection, and change.”

For more information about CHF Canada’s reconciliation initiatives, contact Emily Doyle at edoyle@chfcanada.coop.


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