Kenora Chiefs Advisory and Reena are reflecting on a strong partnership today and how to apply that partnership for change as we commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Tomorrow, September 30th, marks National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day that coincides with Orange Shirt Day. September 30th is for recognizing and acknowledging the tragic legacy of residential schools, the missing children, the families left behind, and the survivors of these institutions. This day is to honour all those who were lost and support and speak out for those still affected, including family, loved ones, and communities.
As we acknowledge this day, we also have to acknowledge the Treaty lands that both organizations are within. Kenora Chiefs Advisory is on the Traditional Territory of the Anishinaabe of Treaty 3. The City of Kenora was originally the land base of one collective First Nation community, which was separated into three communities now known as Wauzhushk Onigum, Niisaachewan, and Washagamis Bay First Nations. Reena is on the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, as well as the Anishinaabeg of the Williams Treaty First Nations, the Huron Wendat, and the Métis Nation.
Since 2018, KCA and Reena, a social services agency supporting people living with developmental disabilities, have been working very closely together to further foster and build a strong foundational relationship in order to work together to address services needed by both groups we serve.
“At Ogimaawabiitong- Kenora Chiefs Advisory, we understand that in order to address the needs of our people and truly fight for the equity they deserve, we have to do that with strong partnerships,” said Chief Chris Skead, Secretary-Treasurer for KCA. “As we sit here today and think about what true reconciliation means, we know it entails working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to address past harms, support strong and healthy communities, and advance self-determination and prosperity. We are so grateful to have been able to do this with Reena, and the support they have provided is unmeasurable, and we are excited to continue to grow this partnership,” Concluded Skead.
“In recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we are reminded of the deep injustices faced by both the indigenous communities and individuals with developmental disabilities. Our partnership with KCA has been instrumental in addressing some of these injustices, and we are committed to furthering our efforts to create equity and support for those in need.” Said Bryan Keshen, Reena’s CEO.
We would also like to acknowledge the hardships faced this year by the communities that we work with. This year marked a very sad year in Canadian history with the discoveries all across the country of unmarked graves, in relation to residential schools. We want to take the time to honour those who did not make it home, their loved ones, family, and friends. The trauma that Indigenous people have had the burden of carrying was only worsened by these discoveries. We want to commemorate the communities we work with for their strength and resilience this last year as you’ve navigated this within your communities, and worked towards healing.
Our organizations will continue to commit to reconciliation as we move forward and work towards a place of mutual trust. We will move forward with the knowledge and guidance we get from the grassroots community level, and continue to work at healing.
Reena is a non-profit organization that promotes dignity, individuality, independence, personal growth and community inclusion for people with diverse abilities within a framework of Jewish culture and values. www.reena.org
About Kenora Chiefs Advisory:
KCA provides programs and services to the First Nations in the field of health, education, and social services in a holistic, traditional way ensuring the survival of the Anishinaabe way in the present and future generations. Kenorachiefsadvisory – Official Videos – Linktree
Some of the highlights of work KCA and Reena have done together include:
• Members of KCA’s Director team partaking in the Aging and Developmental Disabilities-Planning for success program in Toronto in 2019
• KCA is a member of the Intentional Community Consortium which is chaired by Reena
• Reena supported KCA in 2020 throughout the pandemic by providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
• KCA representatives and Board members attended the Reena Gala in 2018
• KCA acted as an advisor to the Canadian Home and Mortgage Corporations (CMHC) Solutions Lab on Mutual Inclusion.
The work both organizations do, which may not serve identical populations, operate with the same fundamentals in mind of people first.
We will continue to move forward in a path that sees unity and strong advocation to create equity on all playing fields.