The discovery of unmarked graves of children at former residential schools across Canada has stirred the country. The CommAlert Group is a First Nation company. These events profoundly impact our team and families. We’ve been deeply moved by the support from our non-indigenous friends and colleagues, and thank you for that.
Members of the business community and friends and family have asked a few times about Indigenous allyship. We found this great post on Instagram from The Indigenous Foundation; How to be an ally to Indigenous peoples and thought it was great information to share.
Listening to Indigenous voices will help you to understand the struggles and inequalities our people have faced and continue to face. Listening is one of the most essential and impactful an ally can do.
Unfortunately, most of our education skipped the chapter about residential schools and other abusive and oppressive results of colonialism. Instead, our curriculums taught history from the settler’s point of view, leaving out the perspective of the Indigenous people and their struggles.
A great place to start learning is through this FREE online course offered by the University of Alberta: Indigenous Canada. It explores the key issues Indigenous people face today from a historical and critical perspective, digging into national and local relationships between settlers and First Nations. The course is taught from the Indigenous point of view.
If you see someone being prejudice towards an Indigenous person or group, say something. It might feel awkward and uncomfortable, but confronting negative actions is the first step to stopping them.
You’ve seen CommAlert active on social media about these issues, and you can do the same. Show your support to your Indigenous friends, neighbours, and local businesses. If you’re not sure what to say, check out the content from Indigenous organizations and influencers on social media.
Raise Indigenous voices, but don’t overpower
Speaking up is essential, but remember, you cannot speak for us. You’re an ally but not a representative of Indigenous communities. We love and appreciate your support, but you must amplify Indigenous voices without overpowering them with your own. Share information from their perspective, provide opportunities for them to share and speak.
Several organizations support Indigenous people and the process of reconciliation. You can show your support by backing up one of these charities with a financial donation. Canada Helps has a good list of charities that are leading reconciliation efforts in Canada.
Support Indigenous businesses
Support First Nation businesses is a good step towards healing Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples. By choosing to utilize the goods and services from local First Nations businesses, you contribute to sustainable economic development and strengthen relationships in the business sector. It’s good for Indigenous businesses, the economy, and the community overall.
“A rising tide carries all boats.”