June 21, 2022
On behalf of the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CRNA), I would like to recognize the importance of June as National Indigenous History Month. June 21 has been designated as National Indigenous Peoples Day.
We give thanks and honour the traditional lands on which we work and live, within Treaty 6 Territory, and recognize our members on Treaty 4, 6, 7, 8 and 10. The lands we sit upon are beautiful and provide us with all of our needs.
The date of June 21, which the Government of Canada chose in collaboration with Indigenous organizations in 1996, is also the summer solstice – the longest day of the year and a day when many Indigenous Peoples and various communities celebrate their culture and heritage. As Canadians, we have the responsibility to learn, appreciate, and honour our First Nations, Inuit and Metis people, their culture, and ways of knowing on this day, and throughout the year.
This year has been one of great emotion and devastation as the discovery of mass graves of children from the Indian residential school (IRS) sites were – and continue to be uncovered.
In April, the Pope made an apology recognizing the role of the Catholic Church in the horrific abuses and losses that occurred due to the Indian Residential School (IRS) system. The fracturing of families, language and identity has left ongoing inter-generational impacts on Indigenous Peoples that still resonate today.
In July, the Pope will travel to Canada to meet with Indigenous communities; he will visit Edmonton and surrounding areas, in addition to Québec City and Iqaluit.
Indigenous cultural advisor from CRNA, Amanda Gould, shares:
“The visit and planning of the visit bring up a lot of emotions for people; some are happy, some are mad, and some are triggered to remember what has happened to them and their families at the hands of the Indian residential school system. This is when we need to be extra kind; we do not know what the person next to us is going through and how they may be processing it.”
We encourage everyone to do their part towards healing and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and yourselves, and to take advantage of learning opportunities during National Indigenous Peoples Day and beyond. Registrants and College staff can take the CRNA’s Stronger Together: Learning through Indigenous Perspectives course, which was developed based on the needs of patients and nurses. The course teaches about the history of nursing and the relationship with Indigenous communities, compassionate care, approaches to care and moving forward.
As an organization, the College is dedicated to improving Indigenous health and supporting culturally safe and appropriate care to Indigenous patients and families in Alberta.
Joy Peacock BSN, MSc, RN
CEO and Registrar