Welcome to our Truth & Reconciliation page
BGC are committed to building knowledge and awareness about Reconciliation. We work to create meaningful connections with Indigenous communities and organizations with the goal of providing equitable, accessible, and culturally relevant services for Indigenous and non-Indigenous children, youth, and families.
Our Truth and Reconciliation work is driven by an advisory committee of Club leaders from across Canada.
Orange Shirt Day
On September 30, Orange Shirt Day commemorates the thousands of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children who were removed from their homes at the end of summer and forced to attend residential schools.
In 2019, BGC staff and members from coast to coast wore orange shirts and hosted events as part of their Reconciliation efforts and to remember residential school survivors. Stay tuned for our 2020 activations!
Orange Shirt Day resources
For National Indigenous History Month (June 2020), we are sharing profiles of Indigenous leaders and changemakers who were nominated by their Club.
Sandra is a long time volunteer with BGC of The Battlefords in Saskatchewan. She is an integral member of the Club’s Board of Directors, donating her time and energy to committees, policy work, and governance. She also assists the Battlefords Club at their major events and is a proud donor.
Outside of the Club, Sandra is a leader in the community. She is active in many groups and advocates for community members, especially Indigenous family and friends. As part of the Reconciliation committee in the Battlefords, Sandra is leading their community on the path to Truth and Reconciliation.
Residing in Treaty 7 Territory, Gabriel is from the Piikani and Kainai First Nations and is a fierce advocate for the Indigenous youth in BGC Calgary’s Iiyika’kimaat program.
She takes pride in building authentic relationships with elders and youth and connecting with traditional ways of knowing. Supporting Indigenous youth in reconnecting to their culture has a profound impact on their well-being and Gabriel ensures this need is met. She also sits on the LGBTQ2S+ committee to advocate and ensure their voices are heard in all spaces.
Brenda is the Executive Director of our BGC Gander in Newfoundland & Labrador, as well as co-leader of the Club’s Indigenous-based programming. She has worked with staff to host events around Orange Shirt Day, Have A Heart Day, and National Indigenous Peoples Day, and she co-leads a Mi’kmaq drumming and language group for adults.
Matthew currently resides in the Treaty 7 Territory of Calgary. He is Bush Cree and comes from Salt River First Nation in Treaty 8. Matt has been with BGC Calgary for several months and has already developed strong bonds and made a huge impact in the lives of local youth. His energy allows young people to feel safe and comfortable while on their journey of cultural reconnection, and his attention to detail ensures they get the most out of the experience.
Brandon is an amazing leader at BGC Saskatoon. Despite some challenges, he has created positivity in his life and in the lives of others. Over the last four years, he has gone above and beyond at the Club, inspiring youth and staff with his drive, his willingness to learn, and his incredibly caring nature. He has proved that your past does not predict your future.
Brandon is a role model for everyone around him.
Jessica is the coordinator for the Iiyika’kimaat Indigenous youth program at BGC Calgary. She is always there to support her colleagues and share her teachings, and she is a powerhouse in ensuring the program is informed by Indigenous practices, frameworks, and knowledge.
Jessica is active in the community and a fierce advocate for Indigenous children, youth, and families.
A proud First Nations woman from the Bonaparte Band, which is a part of the Shuswap Nation in British Columbia, Christy is the Director for Indigenous Initiatives with BGC Calgary. She was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue Magazine in 2011 and awarded the Dr Douglas Cardinal award for Community Leadership in 2015. Christy has been a champion and leader in our movement’s Truth and Reconciliation work, providing valuable guidance and wisdom.
Christy leads with a gentle guiding hand and is always generous with her knowledge and teachings.
Below we have collected resources and information that can help guide your Reconciliation work.
Created by the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society, Spirit Bear represents the 165,000 First Nations children impacted by the First Nations child welfare case at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, as well as the thousands of other children who have committed to learning about the case and have taken part in peaceful and respectful actions in support of Reconciliation and equity.
Our Reconciliation Ambearrister
Started by the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society in honour of Spirit Bear, organizations can host a Reconciliation Ambearrister (ambassador + barrister) to guide them through a year of learning and outreach dedicated to Indigenous children, families, and communities, and to promote the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
BGC Canada’s National Youth Council, made up of 14 young leaders from across the country, has been working with our Ambearrister to learn their culture, language, favourite activities, and more—and have educated themselves about Indigenous cultures and communities in the process.
Have a Heart Day
Run by First Nations Child & Family Caring Society, Have a Heart Day is a child and youth-led reconciliation event on February 14 that brings together caring Canadians to help ensure First Nations children have the services they need to grow up safely at home, get a good education, be healthy, and be proud of who they are.
In 2020, our national team and BGC across the country hosted Have a Heart Day gatherings to write messages and raise awareness about increased equity for Indigenous children and youth. The messages were shared on social media and with the federal government in an effort to effect change.
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights to Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
- UNDRIP for Indigenous Youth
- Indigenous ally toolkit
- National Reconciliation book club
- How to talk about Reconciliation
- Touchstones of Hope
- Personal acts of reconciliation
- 4Rs Youth Movement – Framework for Cross-cultural Dialogue