Statement from the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Press Release

September 30, 2021

As First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities across the country prepare to participate in their various forms of culture, tradition, and recognition of “Orange Shirt Day”, CINA acknowledges the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It is a first time for Canada to implement the national day to be installed by the federal government, and is observed in many communities, cities, hamlets and major centres across Canada. CINA also recognizes that this day is also the recommendation #80 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, which reads as follows:

We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

Indigenous Nurses across the country are especially acknowledged and supported on this day. It will be through their nursing knowledge, professionalism and unwavering commitment and connection to the communities that they work within as they support the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people. This is a day of reflection for all Canadians on the historical pain, and the long-lasting effects of the Indian residential schools. It is also a day to reflect on and to remember that many Indigenous children who never returned to their family home. And finally, it is an opportunity for all of us to learn more, and to work on addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. The roles of authentic engagement and collaboration with those organizations that have identified their commitment towards reconciliation have already developed their partnerships with CINA, and additional are underway.

On behalf of the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association, I encourage everyone to take this opportunity to learn more about the history of Indian residential schools in Canada, listen to the stories of our survivors and their families, and reflect on our paths towards reconciliation.

Lea Bill RN BScN
Traditional Practitioner/Knowledge Holder
CINA President

“Strengthening Indigenous Nurses, Improving Health Outcomes in Communities”

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