On Sept. 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, it is important for us to pause and recognize the painful and traumatic histories experienced by Indigenous peoples in Canada. A history stained by the Indian Residential School and Indian Day School systems that existed from 1894 to 1997 led to historical and intergenerational trauma that exists to this day in those who attended these schools and their families.
This year on Sept. 30, Black Diamond Group welcomed Danita Strawberry, a Cree Anishinaabe woman with a 33-year career in social work, from the O’Chiese First Nation to our head office to lead an enlightening presentation on Truth and Reconciliation, Healing and the Path Forward.
Danita shared from her own experiences about trauma in Indigenous communities, emphasizing the importance of recognizing the unique experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada to help facilitate properly and fully rehabilitating those traumas. Danita, who is currently working to build a trauma recovery centre for Indigenous individuals to heal from their experiences, sees the personal and intergenerational impact of Residential School and Indian Day School systems every day in her work.
More than 150 Black Diamond Group employees from across the company attended this presentation, either in person or virtually, to learn important lessons in Truth and Reconciliation.
The importance of Truth and Reconciliation
To fully recognize and honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we must understand and appreciate both aspects of the day: Truth and Reconciliation. We cannot have one without the other; we cannot shy away from the Truth of the history and traumas experienced by Indigenous peoples in Canada, and we must be aware of how Reconciliation can commence and progress. We must listen keenly, share openly and seek to understand one another as we move forward on this path together. Further, we cannot allow injustices like systemic racism toward Indigenous populations to continue, or phenomena like Residential and Day Schools to happen again.
We recognize that this day would not have been possible without Danita Strawberry and her willingness to present on her experiences, her work and the complex topic of Truth and Reconciliation. For her time and her efforts, we thank her.
We would also like to thank our employees who showed up to support this Brilliance event in a big way. We’re proud to say that our team of the best and brightest see the value in these heavy, yet important, conversations.