Statement in Advance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 2022
On September 30, 2022, the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) will honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada: a federal statutory holiday and a day of reflection and mourning, but also of learning, understanding, and the commitment to ongoing journey of reconciliation.
CASW strongly encourages all provinces and territories to amend their labour codes to include September 30th as a statutory holiday. “It is only through collective and individual reflections on the history of genocide and colonialism and ongoing impacts that we will create new paths forward of inclusion, equity and justice,” notes CASW President Joan Davis-Whelan.
For its part, CASW re-affirms its own ongoing journey of reconciliation, following the important truth telling in our Statement of Apology and Commitment to Reconciliation . CASW is committed to working with, and learning from, Indigenous communities as we navigate our reconciliation journey. “We deeply apologize for contributing to the injustices imposed on Indigenous peoples through our profession’s role in the implementation of residential schools and child welfare that led to the 60s scoop” says Davis-Whelan.
CASW is dedicated to holding the federal government to account to fully implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Women and Girls’ Calls to Justice.
In this past year, the collective consciousness of Canada was challenged to address the colonial genocide of Indigenous children and families with the public discovery of the remains, across Canada, on the grounds of Residential Schools. Though the discovery of graves is sickening, it is not shocking: these known deaths, but unknown graves, are the result of systemic oppression, racism, and genocide inflicted on Indigenous communities in our country – many aspects of which are ongoing today.
CASW encourages all people in Canada to honour of the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by joining in local and national events of remembrance and challenging each other to renew our personal and collective commitments to advancing the journey of reconciliation.
“Canada cannot let this Day be simply symbolic,” said Davis-Whelan. “Use it to pause, to reflect, to learn. Use it to be an ally. But, most importantly, use it to inspire action.”