National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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AFABC observes the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation

On Friday, September 30, AFABC will be closed as we observe the second annual National Day for Truth & Reconciliation. This is a day to reflect on the painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools; support and listen to survivors; and mourn all the children who never returned home to their families and communities.

This day began as Orange Shirt Day, which was founded by Northern Secwepmec residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad. By sharing her story, Phyllis has taught countless people about the devastating impact of residential schools.

For many years AFABC has recognized Orange Shirt Day on September 30 and the message of Phyllis’s story: Every Child Matters. As an adoption and permanency organization, we take that message to heart and strive to apply it to everything we do.

Much change and healing are needed in the field of adoption, permanency, and child and family services, and we are committed to doing our part.

We recognize that Indigenous voices have been missing from our table. We are committed to listening and learning from Indigenous advisors as to what role we should play in supporting the welfare of Indigenous children and youth, and we are actively developing our capacity and cultural competency to do so.

We are fortunate to be guided in our efforts by our friends at the the Indigenous Perspectives Society: Centre of Excellence in Community Education  (IPS) We extend our gratitude and respect to them today and every day.

Here are some of the steps we have taken and are taking to improve our Indigenous capacity and participate in truth and reconciliation:

  • Entered into a formal partnership with the Indigenous Perspectives Society: Centre of Excellence in Community Education IPS)
  • Enrolled our entire staff in IPS’s Cultural Perspectives Training 
  • Provided additional in-depth, role-specific training
  • Created a Cultural Intelligence and Reconciliation Plan, a living document that guides us in our journey
  • Invited Indigenous voices to our Board and Strategic Advisors and will soon provide our entire Board with customized IPS Training
  • Undertook an Indigenous-led consultation study to inform our next steps
  • Revised our Adoption Education Program to incorporate an Indigenous lens
  • Welcomed Indigenous organizations to pilot our life skills curriculum with their youth
  • Based on the success of those pilots, we are in the process of developing an Indigenous version life skills curriculum
  • Engaged an Indigenous practicum student
  • Observed National Indigenous Peoples Day with our entire team, with thanks to Talaysay Tours
  • Completed a year-long consultative process to choose a new name that will be Indigenous-friendly 

AFABC's head office is located on the ancestral, unceded lands of the səl ̓ ilw̓ ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam) Nations. AFABC is committed to listening, learning, and participating in truth and reconciliation.