A watercolor image of an eagle and a narwhal over a sun

Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day

Today we commemorate National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. A day to recognize and honor Indigenous cultures and celebrate the many contributions of Indigenous peoples in our communities and throughout time.

The City of Edmonton has curated a list of organizations, agencies and communities hosting various events around learning, understanding and celebrating Indigenous histories, heritage, and people. Check out the link below to view the upcoming events:

https://www.edmonton.ca/attractions_events/schedule_festivals_events/indigenous-history-month

Ways Skills Society is learning

Skills Society has been on a learning journey around what reconciliation means in action, how we can be better treaty relatives sharing this land together, and how to continue to foster inclusive and welcoming communities. Celebrating diversity and remembering reconciliation and being good treaty relatives shouldn’t just be something that happens a couple times a year. We continue to learn together and work on these pieces in an ongoing way.

Here are some actions Skills Society has or is currently taking: 

Supporting people we serve to embrace their cultural roots, learn, and connect 

This commitment is reviewed annually with the people we support and their families as part of The Rights We Want! Statement of Our Rights and Responsibilities. If people we serve have Indigenous roots, we strive to help connect and support people to learn about Indigenous traditions and take pride in who they are, and where they are from. 

Weaving meaningful Indigenous inclusion

Over 5 years Skills Society co-stewarded the Shift Lab which centered Indigenous leaders and knowledge in shaping anti-racism interventions for Edmonton. 

We also worked with Naheyawin to further our learning journey around reconciliation and the creation of symbols and processes to foster healthy, everyday treaty relationships. Several artifacts and symbols have been added to the Skills Society Office and Action Lab spaces to help us remember the benefits and responsibilities we have as treaty relatives sharing lands with Indigenous peoples, and how those relationships can deepen the work we do. 

Honoring National Truth and Reconciliation Day

Although our Government funder has not so far funded this day as a vacation day, Skills Society is committed to honoring National Truth and Reconciliation Day and sharing actions members of our community can take to act on reconciliation. In 2021, to commemorate National Truth and Reconciliation Day, an event was hosted by Naheyawin for Skills community members to explore and deepen their knowledge about the origin and purpose of National Truth and Reconciliation Day. A learning event will happen yearly now – learn more here

Boost and support Indigenous leaders

We strive to boost and support Indigenous leaders within our organization and community, involving them in systems change initiatives such as our Future of Home: Inclusive Housing Solutions Lab and Shift Lab

Skills Society leadership learning and training

The Board of Directors and leadership has been learning about Indigenous peoples, treaty, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and several leaders have taken the Indigenous Canada course through the University of Alberta.