Today, September 30th, the Ontario Federation of Friendship Centres (OFIFC) and Friendship Centres across Ontario will be wearing orange to show their support for residential school survivors. We take time today to remember those who have been directly and indirectly affected by the legacy of residential schools and acknowledge the personal and collective grief that we, as Indigenous people, are experiencing.
Friendship Centres are more than just social service centres. They are culturally grounded gathering places and support networks that have long been a place for urban indigenous peoples to heal without stigmatization. Through culturally responsive programming, we continue to mitigate the effects of deculturation, and discrimination experienced by Indigenous People resulting from colonialism – including the residential school system. Today, Friendship Centres continue to support members of urban Indigenous communities regardless of what point they may be at on their healing journey.
The OFIFC takes time today to reaffirm our commitment to advancing the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The OFIFC urges all levels of government to implement all 94 Calls to Action in the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
For those who need support There is a National Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if you are ever in need of emotional support.