Alberta Ecotrust Foundation acknowledges that our work stretches across the traditional territories of Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, and Ojibway/Saulteaux/Anishinaabe nations; lands that are now known as part of Treaties 6, 7, and 8 and homeland of the Métis. Our head office is located in the City of Calgary, which is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.
Alberta Ecotrust Foundation recognizes how colonization has deeply damaged the sovereignty, lands, histories, languages, knowledge systems, and cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit nations.
September 30th, also known as Orange Shirt Day, is a time for non-Indigenous Albertans, and Canadians, to listen, acknowledge and honor the suffering of Indigenous peoples that have been affected by the residential school system in Canada. Residential schools were one of the tools used in European colonization to systematically erase Indigenous cultures and histories. To this day, Indigenous peoples are still systematically left out of decision-making that directly impacts their communities, ways of life and future generations.
Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have studied and cared for Mother Earth and continue to do so today. We believe Alberta Ecotrust has a stronger role to play in supporting environmental initiatives led by Indigenous organizations and communities in Alberta.
It is not enough to invite them into our environmental programs and projects. We must also seek out what is most important and relevant to them.
Our organization is on an important reconciliation journey, and our staff and Board recognize that this work must extend beyond September 30th. That is why we are intentionally exploring practices that will decolonize our work and implementing opportunities to support Indigenous leadership.
Beyond this day we must all think, and do, differently. This starts with recognizing the truth of our discomfort, deeply reflecting on it and committing to make change happen. We encourage Albertans to learn more about our shared history with Indigenous Peoples, including residential schools, and ways to actively support Indigenous-lead organizations in Treaty 6, 7 and 8.
We recommend that on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, you give one day’s pay to support Indigenous projects, movements, organizations and nations. Learn more about the One Days Pay campaign.
Pat Letizia, President and CEO
Alberta Ecotrust Foundation