As a Métis/Cree person in Canada, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an important moment to reflect, respect and acknowledge the resilience, perseverance, and bravery of my family. As Indigenous families and communities continue to heal from the tragic legacy of the Indian Residential School system in Canada, we ask our non-Indigenous allies to take this moment to amplify Indigenous voices, advocate for Indigenous rights, call out biases and misconceptions about Métis, First Nations and Inuit people and become a scholar of Indigenous studies by using your personal time to educate yourself. It was the bravery of Phyllis Webstad of the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation to share her story about the loss of her orange shirt as she was forced to attend residential school. This launched an educational movement known as Orange shirt day, which has now become the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Take this opportunity to start/continue your journey towards building knowledge around Indigenous studies in Canada, carry on the conversation in your inner circles and become an ally for Indigenous rights and to Indigenous peoples/communities.
Roy Pogorzelski is Métis/Cree from Northern Saskatchewan with his families coming from the communities of Meadow Lake/Green Lake/and throughout the North. Roy owns his own company RWP Consulting where he educates on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, anti-racism and Indigenous studies/inclusion and reconciliation. Roy is an Associate Facilitator with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI), A Board member with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF), A Program Facilitator with One Voice One Team (OVOT), a PHD student at the University of Lethbridge where he also a Instructs in Indigenous Studies and for the Dhillon School of Business. Connect with Roy on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/roypogo