This blog post was provided by the Indigenous Perspective Society
As Indigenous Perspectives Society: Centre of Excellence in Community Education (IPS) observes the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we also express our support and encouragement to others to take time to reflect and honour this very significant day. For many, September 30th is considered Orange Shirt Day (OSD). OSD was started by Phyllis Webstad of Williams Lake, B.C. in 2013, who said, “Orange Shirt Day is to honour Residential School Survivors and their families and to remember those who never made it.” To learn more about the history of this initiative and more about Phyllis Webstad’s story please visit: http://www.orangeshirtday.org/
OSD, or National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, is an opportunity for all people to reflect, raise awareness, educate, listen, and learn. It’s a shared opportunity to recognize and support the work that still needs to be done towards acknowledging and advocating for justice for Residential School Survivors. This year, in particular, it is important for us to mourn for the children whose remains have been recovered at Residential School sites throughout Indigenous territories and provinces in Canada. We must also recognize that this process will be ongoing as more children are found and brought home. The day also celebrates and observes the deep resilience and ongoing healing journey of Indigenous families and communities living with the legacy of Residential Schools.
Residential Schools may be one of the strongest examples of the inhuman and genocidal acts of colonization that were carried out during the ‘settlement’ of North America. That said, the last school did not close until 1996. At IPS we share Indigenous perspectives on Canada’s history through our training workshops and the way that we work together with communities. IPS (formerly named Caring for First Nations Children Society) has provided a tailored and unique Aboriginal Social Work program to support those working with Indigenous children and youth in care, for over 20 years. All IPS training programs have grown out of the original purpose of the society, to create safety and improved outcomes for Indigenous children, youth, families and communities.
IPS also hosts the Indigenous Caregivers of B.C. (ICOBC) program. The ICOBC program provides training, information referral and counseling support for members of foster caregiving communities throughout B.C. This program is another example of how IPS works to help Indigenous children and youth in care and their caregivers.
The Society’s purpose is to advance education, knowledge and understanding of Indigenous realities and practices with Indigenous Peoples and for individuals and organizations in the public, private and non-profit sectors working with and serving Indigenous Peoples. We do this by creating excellence through training and leadership, to help strengthen lives and build successful relationships in the communities we serve. IPS is accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, (CARF) International for its Aboriginal Social Worker and Reconciliation from Indigenous Perspectives training.
Alongside these training programs, IPS offers a wide range of social enterprise training courses focused on building strong governance, human resource processes, supporting youth development, conflict transformation and restorative justice. Our current training areas include:
- Aboriginal Social Work
- Community and Family Support
- Cultural Perspectives
- Justice and Equity
- Leadership and Governance Best Practices
All IPS programs and trainings are aimed at building and improving the capacity of Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and organizations to work towards self-determination and self-governance models that suit their specific needs.
In addition, IPS provides consulting services to help enable and drive change within groups and in organizations, such as strategic planning and cultural knowledge needs assessments and planning. These services actively support decolonization processes and provide guidance for the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
We invite you to join us in observing the importance and significance of the September 30th today and every day as we work with others towards these goals. We express gratitude to our board, staff, volunteers, donors and supporters for making our work possible.