September 30th marks Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation. On this day, we recognize the harmful legacy of Canada’s residential school system and honour the healing journey of survivors and their families.

OMHRA’s Board members recently took part in cultural sensitivity training which deepened their awareness of the history and the harm that was done to the Indigenous peoples in Canada.

As a result of this training, the Board has put in place several initiatives to ensure our Association helps to increase understanding and build relationships with Indigenous people. Over the course of the next three years and beyond, we will also strive to provide education and tools for our members to equip them to support the efforts of municipal governments to create greater social equity.

This includes:

  • Develop a land acknowledgement and post in a prominent position on OMHRA’s website.
  • Officially begin OMHRA Board meetings with a land acknowledgement to be delivered by a Board member on a rotating basis.
  • Create professional development opportunities for members to learn about Indigenous history and such activities as cultural sensitivity training and land learning.
  • Invite Indigenous experts to present to OMHRA members at our in-person events and through our webinar series;
  • Establish a Community of Practice on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and invite Indigenous speakers to share information on topics such as what considerations should be top of mind when seeking to recruit Indigenous candidates. This Community of Practice will also allow our members to share examples of their work and learnings to contribute to reconciliation.
  • Create a library in the Members Lounge to share information about reconciliation as well as information and resources on speakers, trainers and knowledge keepers.
  • Attend Indigenous conferences to continue the education of OMHRA Board members about Reconciliation.
  • Review the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to determine other opportunities for OMHRA to contribute to reconciliation.

The Governance and Operational Performance Committee of the Board of Directors has been given oversight of the implementation of these initiatives In order to ensure that OMHRA is — and continues to be — a catalyst for change.

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