Vancouver, BC, September 30, 2021 – Today, on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we take time to reflect and act upon our responsibilities to dismantle the systemic racism and colonialism that continues to impact Indigenous peoples in Canada.
We recognize that systemic racism and colonialism continue to permeate our system of mental health care in this country. We are working to set new standards within our organization that seek to fully implement the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and particularly those calls for Indigenous mental health, healing and well-being.
The Canadian Mental Health Association is committed to working as allies with Indigenous mental health organizations to advocate for increased funding for Indigenous-led mental health services to advance reconciliation and to better support Indigenous communities.
We know that change begins from within. We must take steps to recognize the racist and colonial ways of thinking and working within our organization. We are committed to decolonizing our own practices and establishing new anti-racist and anti-oppressive ways of working.
It is not possible to grapple with or meaningfully recognize the systemic change we want to see and contribute to for Indigenous Peoples in Canada for one day a year. But, today, we take time to stand in proud solidarity with Indigenous mental health care providers and champions inside CMHA and beyond, and across Turtle Island. We commit to creating communities and systems that recognize and value Indigenous voices and rights.