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Home / News / Let’s build a better Canada, together
June 30, 2021
Content warning: This statement includes mentions of residential schools, anti-Muslim hate, and racism.
If you need support, you can call, text or chat with Alberta 211 to find resources near you.
The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their Residential school experience at 1-866-925-4419
After a hate crime or other tragedy, it’s common to hear someone say: “This isn’t who we are. This isn’t my Canada.”
That’s because of the Canadian stereotypes: We’re nice. We say sorry. Racism and hatred don’t happen here.
But it’s not true. This is our Canada.
It’s time to get uncomfortable with the fact that our nation was built on the oppression of Indigenous and racialized people. And that this oppression, racism, and hatred still exists.
In the last month, we have learned of thousands of unmarked graves at residential schools in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. A Muslim family was killed in a terrorist attack, simply for going for a walk together. Here in Edmonton, Muslim women are being attacked because they wear the hijab. And a mosque was defaced with a swastika.
This is our Canada – but it doesn’t have to be.
This Canada Day, take the time to reflect on these truths and commit to the reconciliation needed to heal these deep wounds. Together, we can transform Canada into the place that many of us already think it is.
You can love and be thankful for Canada, and fight for it to be a better place for all our friends and neighbours. You can appreciate the struggles and resiliency of your settler ancestors, while also recognizing that they benefitted from a system that made life harder for Indigenous and racialized people.
We are all treaty people. We commit to being good neighbours on this land, good stewards of the land, and good ancestors to the children who will share this land into the future. At United Way, our Leading Inclusively Team is tasked with ensuring our policy and practices are equitable. They also create educational and engagement opportunities internally to improve our understanding of equity and discrimination.
We know that these events have been traumatizing for many. If you need support, you can call, text, or chat 211 Alberta.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports | NTRC
Indigenous Canada | University of Alberta
Beyond 94: Truth and Reconciliation in Canada | CBC
Bystander Intervention Training | CORE Alberta
You Need This Box: Anti-racism Subscription Box | Shift Lab
Islamophobia at Work: Challenges and Opportunities | Canadian Labour Congress
United Way acknowledges that many of our staff are settlers living and working in this Territory. Our office is located on Treaty 6 Territory and Métis Nation Settlement #4, the ancestral lands of many Indigenous, First Nations, Métis and Inuit people. We honour and uphold the resources, knowledge, and culture Indigenous people share with us to do this work.