National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 28, 2022
Friday is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We will spend Friday, and the days leading up and following it, not only remembering the horrors of the residential school system, but also celebrating the resiliency and strength of survivors, their families and communities.
We work on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Səl̓ílwətaɬ nations, and it is our duty to establish right relations with the people on whose stolen territories we live and work, and to the land itself.
This is also a day to hold ourselves to account, those of us who are settlers on this land, and to commit ourselves to the work of reconciliation. At PuSh, we are only just beginning this journey. We want to share what is being done and shine a light on all there is to do. To do that, it is important for us to remember that we are not an institution, we are a group of people who can change, and to remind ourselves that reconciliation is not a project we can complete or a box we can tick. It is a process we must commit to.
Here are some of the commitments our staff and board are making toward establishing right relations:
- We will listen.
Through in-depth consultation with local artists, elders and knowledge keepers to ensure our work with Indigenous artists are addressing the real needs and desires of the community.
- We will educate ourselves.
Our staff and board commit to educating ourselves not only about the history of Indigenous peoples on this land, but also about Indigenous wisdoms and ways of knowing so that we can be ready for the difficult conversations that need to be had. We do this by learning more about Indigenous artists and thinkers, engaging Elders to share their wisdom, reading and listening to works by Indigenous people.
- We will share what we’ve learned.
We will support community learning by creating, amplifying and championing resources. This will include extending invitations to learning opportunities beyond PuSh’s staff and board and sharing resources on social media for others to take advantage of.
- We will engage artists and community members in the spirit of right relations
In our work hosting Indigenous artists and presenters, we will be good hosts, ensure appropriate protocols are in place and work in collaboration with local Indigenous organizations to ensure that we are uplifting, and not profiting off of, our Indigenous peers.
Thank you to our host nations and our Indigenous partners for continuing to hold space for these conversations.