A gift of wisdom from the Indigenous Community themselves.
It was such a pleasure and privilege to continue our learning of Indigenous History from Gertie, who is a residential school survivor and elder from the Sechelt First Nations. Our honored guest speaker shared her personal story and added both color and clarity to the topic of the residential school system. Covering its history and impact on the Indigenous Community, to say it has been a very powerful session that is memorable, moving, and informative is an understatement.
Gertie demonstrates how she burns white sage (smudges) when she feels "heavy in the heart". This spiritual ceremony is taught to help cleanse and purify any negative energy. So cool!
On September 30, we took the knowledge given to us by Gertie and wore orange shirts, commemorating the national day for Truth and Reconciliation, which raises awareness of the indigenous community that has been inter-generationally impacted by residential schools, and promotes the concept of “Every Child Matters”. Wearing orange is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom, and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
One of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was to encourage the corporate community to provide education to their staff about the history of Aboriginal people in Canada. Here at Vancouver Fire and Radius Security, we heed the call and are committed to carrying on our learning journey, both in recognizing indigenous history as well as learning about their incredible culture!