Did you know…
… that there were over 8 million indigenous people in North America before Columbus “discovered” it? That these communities were as diverse as possible – from small groups who lived by following the buffalo, to established communities who lived in permanent and secure homes, to major cities, who’s architecture and customs were as sophisticated as any in Europe?
If you knew this, wonderful! Because I didn’t before I discovered the truth as an adult. I certainly wasn’t taught this version of North American history in school.
The history of how indigenous peoples have been treated – lied to, betrayed, cheated, and treated with no dignity or consideration at nearly every turn is a shameful part of our North American history.
If you’re like me, you might want to know the truth, and be a part of changing our history by partnering with indigenous-led organizations – discovering what they want and need from the rest of us to rebuild their lives with dignity.
If you want to know the latest statistics about the indigenous situation in Canada, get inspired from reading what has already been started through collaboration, read Aboriginal Philanthropy in Canada
How can I get involved?
If you’re in Canada, join a local TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission). I’ve joined one. Local TRC’s are being created everywhere. They’re chaired by Indigenous leaders, and are there to educate and participate locally. To get involved, visit this TRC website.
There is so much we all can do to make our community great again – and I mean all people – white, black, new immigrants, and most of all, indigenous peoples, who were, after all, the first here.
To get involved, check out both organizations, and then see what you can do personally, buy first educating yourself about the issues in your own area, and then donating your time and money.
Help make North America a place of true prosperity for everyone.
Canada: Reconciliation Canada
Reconciliation Canada, an Indigenous-led organization, began in September 2012 with a bold vision to promote reconciliation by engaging Canadians in dialogue that revitalizes the relationships between Indigenous peoples and all Canadians in order to build vibrant, resilient and sustainable communities. A vision based on a dream held by Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Reconciliation Canada’s Ambassador, to witness tens of thousands of people of every culture and faith walking together for a shared tomorrow.
Click here to donate
Toronto’s Reconciliation Project …
A third of Ontario’s indigenous population lives in Toronto, and to support this indigenous hub, Anishnawbe Health Toronto (AHT) is building a multi-purpose centre to provide opportunities for cultural, economic and community growth for this diverse community.
AHT is a fully accredited Community Health Centre with a mission to improve the health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in spirit, mind, emotion and body by providing traditional healing within a multi-disciplinary health care model.
To learn more about Anishnawbe Health and/or to make a donation, please visit www.supportanishnawbe.ca
United States: PWNA (Partnership With Native Americans)
PWNA partners with Indigenous communities in the United States to identify their needs, and then work with them to provide needed goods and services, programs and facilities that have been identified as needed by the community.
Click here to donate
And there’s more …
If you want to keep abreast of what’s happening, tune into Unreserved, featured on CBC radio, the radio space for Indigenous community, culture, and conversation.
Check out Walking Eagle to get a taste of some Indigenous humor, from the viewpoint of Tim Fontaine, former CBC reporter.