September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day to honour the thousands of children who never made it home from residential schools, as well as the survivors, their families and communities.
Also recognized as Orange Shirt Day, this day is an invitation and opportunity to learn about Canada’s history of oppression against Indigenous communities, and to reflect on the actions needed to move forward towards reconciliation.
Indigenous communities continue to face the abuse of basic human rights. Systemic racism, violence, extreme poverty, and lack of food access are just some of the realities faced by Indigenous peoples across the country.
A recent study from PROOF at the University of Toronto showed that almost one-third (30.7%) of Indigenous peoples living off-reserve are food insecure. This was the highest level amongst all groups compared, even when incomes were equal. Among those who live in urban areas, nearly one-quarter (24%) live below the poverty line, almost twice the percentage of non-Indigenous peoples in the same areas (Statistics Canada).
As a Rights-Based organization, Daily Bread Food Bank is committed to facilitating food access to communities in need. At the same time, we call on all levels of government to create the conditions needed to ensure everyone can realize their right to food.
Today, we will be reflecting on the struggles faced by Indigenous communities, our commitments, and the actions we can all take to make change. We invite you to do the same.
Here are some ways we can all participate in this important day of remembrance:
Photo credit: John Woods, The Canadian Press