CMHA Elgin-Middlesex joins many across the country in reflecting on Canada’s past and future this year on July 1.
CMHA is deeply troubled by the revelations from investigations into unmarked grave sites at former residential schools in BC and Saskatchewan. We recognize that for Canada’s Indigenous peoples, this is a day of mourning rather than celebration, and extend our deepest condolences to those who are grieving.
The physical, psychological and spiritual violence stemming from residential schools has caused pain that has been passed from generation to generation. The recent discoveries in BC and Saskatchewan reflects the long history of racism, violence and cultural genocide towards Indigenous peoples in Canada which did not end with the closure of residential schools. It continues to this day. Every day, Indigenous people live the very real impacts of systemic racism and colonialism, which affect their mental health and well-being.
We stands with CMHA National in calling for our health care system and decision-makers to heed the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to support Indigenous communities’ calls to action on reconciliation, and particularly those in support of Indigenous mental health, healing, and well-being.
Below are a few of the Indigenous-focused services and resources available in our communities.
- Atlohsa: Atlohsa Family Healing Services is a non-profit organization that provides community members with Indigenous-led programming and services that offer holistic healing, education, shelter, and support.
- Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOAHAC): Aboriginal Health Access Centres (AHACs) are innovative, Aboriginal specific, Indigenous informed health care agencies. They provide a combination of health and social services to First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.
- N’Amerind Friendship Centre: The N’Amerind Friendship Centre is a non-profit organization committed to the promotion of physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual well-being of native people and in particular, urban native people.
if you are in crisis, please call or text Reach Out, our 24/7 crisis line, at 519-433-2023 or 1-866-933-2023 or web chat at www.reachout247.ca