Embedding Reconciliation Work in Your Organization
As a sector, our journey along the path toward Truth and Reconciliation must be grounded in self-reflection and self-sufficiency. Also required is an acknowledgment of our privilege as settler organizations, of the inequitable distribution of resources, and contrition for our sector’s historical perpetuation of a colonialist system.
As settler organizations, we have a duty to name and acknowledge our role in the traumatic life circumstances faced by many Indigenous Peoples related to the ongoing and undue burden of colonialism and racism and discrimination. We also recognize the intergenerational traumas caused by the residential school and child welfare systems. Too often we have allowed systemic racism and anti-Indigenous discrimination and a failure to consistently offer culturally relevant services exist as barriers to Indigenous Peoples seeking support and services.
Incumbent on us, not Indigenous Peoples, is the work of identifying gaps, missteps, and setting clear goals along the path toward Reconciliation. It is time to move away from and beyond the historically ineffective and tiresome frameworks and prescriptive efforts to improve services and access for Indigenous people living with HIV.
The HIV sector’s Reconciliation in Action Guidance document supports service providers to undergo the critical steps of self-reflection, self-education, and self-assessment at all levels of their organizations, and to build trust and develop relationships with partners, Elders/Knowledge Keepers and Indigenous people living with HIV/AIDS. The guidance supports a commitment to listening deeply and heeding partner advice and input, particularly concerning the lack meaningful engagement and inclusion of Indigenous people living with HIV/AIDS within our organizations and the broader sector.