On June 21, Canada will be celebrating the 25th Annual National Indigenous Peoples Day. First celebrated in 1996, this day was selected to recognize and celebrate the cultures and contributions of Indigenous people across this country. Edmonton’s Food Bank acknowledges that we gather on Treaty Six Territory and the home of First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and all First Peoples of Canada as we honor this day and to confirm our support for the Indigenous community as we travel through these troubled times. We are saddened by the recent discovery on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops B.C. and the grounds of other Residential School sites across Canada. We are very concerned with the lack of movement on the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and stand in support of our Indigenous community. The Food Bank serves all community members and over 30% of our clients, self-identify as First Nations, Metis, or Inuit. Many of our partner organizations, supporters, staff and volunteers identify as Indigenous. Their participation has allowed us to address many of the needs of our community. We look forward to celebrating this day with our Indigenous community and learn more about their culture and traditions. Our community must walk and heal together.
Help is available for Residential School survivors. You can call the 24-Hour National Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419 or find out more details online about the services available including mental health, emotional and cultural support services.
Below is a story by Chase Morley in honour of his grandmother, Beulah Faye (Lola) Langford. In 1952, eight-year-old Lola set off to Portage La Prairie Residential School. She left the school eight years later.