Today on September 30, 2021 Canada recognizes its first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It’s a day for reflection, education, conversation, and really for moving the work forward that is needed to advance equality and prosperity for all Indiginous peoples. As an Indiginous owned and led business, we’d like to offer up some of our thoughts and perspective about what this day means to us, and how we believe we can all contribute to advancing reconciliation not just here on the Sunshine Coast, but across Canada.
We understand there are many forms of reconciliation and know we have a long way to go on the 94 calls to action. Economic reconciliation is defined as a form of “reconciliation in action”, and we love that it highlights action, which is ultimately what we need to have the greatest positive impact moving forward.
While we see reflection and learning from the past being important to ensure that the history of residential schools and all those who endured these events are never forgotten, we believe that our Nation’s focus ought to be on the action that is needed to build the path forward to a better tomorrow. We believe that the time is now; to engage, to take action, and build the path to a better future.
At its core, economic reconciliation is about creating win\win partnerships and opportunities for and with Indiginous people, communities and businesses to create prosperity together. That can be accomplished through hiring of Indigenous workers and creating partnerships with Indigenous businesses. When Indigenous peoples are included at the table and given the chance to achieve their full potential, that is when healing begins and relationships between everyone is strengthened.
Salish Soils Sechelt facility is an example of economic reconciliation. We are a community hub for the benefit of both Indigenous and non-Indigineous people working together within our Shíshálh territory. We process valuable waste residuals from our entire coastal community into sustainable and locally made products.
From CEO and owner of Salish Soils Aaron Joe
“As a descendant of residential school survivors , I personally understand the challenges we face on a daily basis as indiginous people who want to move our communities forward.
This day brings me to remembering my Great grandpa Clarence Joe Sr. (Ti-Ta), who was a residential school survivor himself. When I was a young boy he always told me I would be a powerhouse, big shoes to fill! However this idea instilled in me to work hard, and to stand in my power and to protect the environment we call our Swiya’. My Great Grandfather was a key figure in having the residential school in our sechelt community close its doors. He lobbied in Ottawa in protest of the atrocities that our children endured, and successfully had the school closed in 1975. He believed in true education for our people, and knew that we needed it to become entrepreneurial as a way out of dependency. Without his Vision I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.”
How we at Salish Soils are Honoring this Day
Today we have chosen to close our site and honor this important federal holiday, which will allow us to take the time to remember and reflect on our past. By confronting our past and coming to face the harsh realities of our history, our hope is that we will be more present and available to move forward together as one community.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners at the Town of Gibsons, Sunshine Coast Regional District and The District of Sechelt for their commitment and collaboration towards true reconciliation. My hands go up to you.
We look forward to coming back to serve our community everyday with a fresh perspective, so that we may tackle the problems of tomorrow together.
We hope this national day of reconciliation serves as a reminder to be kind to each other , forgive each other and make reconciliation a part of our social fabric.