As new residents and citizens, it is so important for us to learn about and become allies for the Indigenous Peoples of Canada.
First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples have been living in what is now Canada for thousands of years, and they each have unique histories, languages, cultural practices, and spiritual beliefs.
We newcomers are now lucky enough to call this beautiful country our home – but we must remind ourselves that we are living on their land.
In this episode, I’m joined by Danielle and Jamie-Leigh, who come to us from RAVEN Trust, a not-for-profit that raises legal defense funds to assist Indigenous Peoples.
They also have a truly fantastic online video course called Home on Native Land, that you can take for FREE to start your learning.
In this episode, we discuss the history of colonization in Canada, including the definitions of Terra Nullius, the Doctrine of Discovery, and the Indian Act. We also speak about the common misconceptions about Indigenous peoples, as well as the ongoing conflict over broken treaties.
I ask Danielle and Jamie-Leigh whether Indigenous Peoples welcome immigrants and refugees to Canada, as well as what they think about the term “Canadian”.
They also share some of the ways that newcomers to Canada can contribute to ongoing reconciliation efforts.
In Canada, September 30 is The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, or “Orange Shirt Day.” The day aims to raise awareness about the Indian Residential School System, where Indigenous children across Canada were ripped from their families, abused and thousands killed. It is also an opportunity to commit to the process of truth, justice, and reconciliation.
You can learn more by clicking here.
- Jamie-Leigh Gonzales is a Portuguese and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh mother living on the stolen lands of the lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ People. She is co-founder at Grounded Futures: a media production and mentorship collaborative, and a Communications Manager at RAVEN. As an artist, she roots her work in storytelling, collaboration, and trust. She is a mentor and mentee across many disciplines, but most notably is learning from her 3-year-old on how to be a rad human.
- Danielle Wilson is a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, located in the Nuu-chah-nulth territory of Vancouver Island and is from the Masso and Frank families. As the Executive Director for Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs (RAVEN), she comes into this role with over 10 years in Indigenous leadership roles and dedication to working to advocate for Indigenous rights. Working for RAVEN now gives Ms Wilson the opportunity to be close to her home territory and is proud to be working with a focused and dedicated RAVEN team. Danielle has a B.Sc. from the University of Victoria and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Waterloo.
Links & Resources:
- Home on Native Land is a new, free online learning tool that is funny, honest, and accessible, providing a no-risk, comfortable way to understand Indigenous law, Canadian law, and their impact on the nation we call home. The series of 10 x 30-minute modules is the first public education initiative from RAVEN, an organization dedicated to supporting Indigenous rights.
- Join the New to Canada Academy: Learn more
- Download my 50 free tips from newcomers to Canada: What they wish they knew before they moved! https://thenewcomercollective.com/canada-tips/
- Follow me on Instagram: @TheNewcomerCollective