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How CHF Canada staff are working towards reconciliation

Published October 27, 2021

How CHF Canada staff are working towards reconciliation

Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is something that CHF Canada is working on as an organization.

In 2018, CHF Canada’s members passed the resolution “Housing Co-ops and Reconciliation With Indigenous Peoples”, calling on both CHF Canada and its member co-ops to work towards reconciliation.

CHF Canada worked with consultant Jackie Hogue to create Building Better Relationships: A Reconciliation Toolkit, which is filled with ideas on how, and why, to get started on this work.

Reconciliation is also something that many CHF Canada staff prioritize outside of work, too. Here are some CHF Canada staff, in their own words, on how they’re incorporating reconciliation into their lives:

Cynthia Mitchell:

“I’ve been working towards reconciliation in my own life by regularly donating to Indspire and more recently to Minwaashin Lodge, an Indigenous Women’s Support Centre in Ottawa. Last year for Christmas, my family donated what we’d usually spend on gifts to the Inuuqatigiit Centre for Inuit Children, Youth and Families, also in Ottawa. I recently appreciated watching this short documentary called ‘Twilight Dancers’ about a group of Indigenous teenagers from Pimicikamak Cree Nation using square dancing to help in their healing. It was very interesting to learn how their community has incorporated Indigenous dance moves into square dancing, to make it their own. In the future, I plan to check out the Mādahòkì Farm, a new Indigenous gathering place in Ottawa that provides opportunities to learn about and celebrate Algonquin Anishinabeg culture and values.”

Moira Dunphy:

“I am putting Indigenous voices in my life: social media, APTN TV and podcasts. I am participating in community events and programming in the building where I live which includes homes for Indigenous women.”

Dawn Richardson:

“I live in Keswick, Ontario, also known as the Town of Georgina. The town is located over lands originally used and occupied by the Chippewa of Georgina Island First Nation. My mission is to visit this island next summer and better educate myself about the Indigenous peoples of my local area. As of National Truth and Reconciliation Day, the Chippewa of Georgina Island First Nations flag flies proudly at our main intersections at the north and south end of our town. As well, through a friend, I learned about face mask donations through Indigenous Face Masks. When you buy a face mask, one will be donated to a young Indigenous person. The masks depict Indigenous artists’ work. I will be making my mask purchases through this organization.”

Tim Ross:

“In addition to the work we’ve been doing at CHF Canada, I’ve been focused on learning, relationship-building and action. I’ve taken in a lot of learning opportunities, by reading, listening to podcasts and watching films; all content made by Indigenous creators. I also completed the uAlberta Indigenous Canada course. For relationship building, I’m very grateful to be working closely with Tina Stevens, CHF Canada’s President of the Board of Directors. As we work together to lead the organization, we also exchange often on Truth and Reconciliation. For action, I’m glad that as a member of the National Housing Council that we have prioritized Urban, Rural, and Northern Indigenous Housing. As a board member of several organizations, I’m encouraging pursuit of Truth and Reconciliation commitments. Personally, I also donate to Indigenous led organizations working on housing, gender and environmental justice.”

Scott Jackson:

“After reading a recent CBC News article, What’s wrong with land acknowledgments, and how to make them better, I’ve been thinking about how to make land acknowledgments better by not beginning them with the phrase “I acknowledge”, rather stating the land acknowledgment as a simple fact.   We don’t say ‘I acknowledge that my eyes are blue’.”

If you or your housing co-op are working towards reconciliation with Indigenous communities, we would love to hear about it. Please email us at info@chfcanada.coop.

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