To the PACT membership,
With the ongoing confirmation of unmarked gravesites at residential “schools” over the past month, we are thinking of the toll on Indigenous artists, their families and loved ones, and their communities.
We will not be celebrating Canada this week. We intend to use July 1st as a day of learning and action. We encourage our non-Indigenous colleagues within the PACT membership to do the same.
Instead of fireworks or holiday e-blasts, we suggest: Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report. Learn about the history of the land you are on and of the people who have always lived there. Amplify the voices of Indigenous folks. Wear orange instead of red and white. Make a donation if you can.
And in particular, let’s all reflect on the power of storytelling, and our responsibility to use that power to spread justice and care.
To our Indigenous colleagues, we want to give you space for your grief. Know that you have our love and our support, as well as our commitment to action.
Specifically, we commit to using our advocacy resources and access to government officials in support of the TRC’s recommendations, particularly Calls to Action #79 through #83, which call for a reconciliation framework for arts and heritage activities, and proper commemorations for survivors and for the children lost to their families and communities.
Boomer, Eleanor, Graham, Kamana, Mirette, & Zachary