Education, Healing, and Accountability: SCO Reveals the Priorities of Southern First Nation Survivors and Intergenerational Survivors
September 25, 2023
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — Today, in the days leading up to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is releasing a report called the “Priorities of Southern First Nation Survivors and Intergenerational Survivors.”
“On behalf of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, we extend our gratitude to the hundreds of Survivors and intergenerational Survivors who responded to our survey, along with those who took part in our focus group. Your input provides us with clear direction on the healing path forward,” shared Grand Chief Jerry Daniels.
This report is the result of both a survey and a focus group launched by SCO to identify the priorities Survivors have when it comes to implementing the 94 Calls to Action outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2015. Only 13 of the 94 Calls to Action were considered complete as of 2022, so it is essential for SCO to ask our citizens for direction on which Calls to Action they would like us to focus on through our advocacy, services, and programs.
SCO asked participants about which of the Calls to Action are a top priority, including options around education, awareness, and truth telling; healing; accountability; policies, regulations, and legislation; commemoration; and research support. The report shares ideas and suggestions for each area of priority. The survey captures the voices of the respondents throughout.
“The Southern Chiefs’ Organization continues to prioritize the voices of our Anishinaabe and Dakota Survivors and intergenerational Survivors,” stated Grand Chief Daniels. “The wealth of feedback and direction they have provided to us is invaluable. Survivors and intergenerational Survivors have provided a wide range of thoughtful responses that helps SCO ensure their variety of perspectives are reflected and incorporated as we continue to deliver holistic services and programs that support healing and reconciliation.”
Our Pathways to Healing Program is responding to the priorities for healing shared within this new report. The program provides supports, system navigation, and advocacy to families and Survivors of residential schools and day schools, the Sixties Scoop and child welfare system; along with the national emergency of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse people (MMIWG2S+).
SCO launched the Traditional Healers Program earlier this year to provide high quality, culturally appropriate programming that responds to health and wellness needs in southern First Nations and is accountable to southern First Nations people and communities. This program is a step toward reclaiming Anishinaabe and Dakota traditional ways. By offering access to vetted Traditional Healers, our program will connect community members to Healers in a way that is both safe and reliable.
“Every September, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization acknowledges the dark legacy of residential schools and day schools, missing children, and the families they left behind, along with the intergenerational Survivors,” stated Chief Dr. Stan Bird of the Peguis First Nation. “We acknowledge our Survivors and their descendants through our Every Child Matters public education campaign. We encourage all Manitoba residents to stand with us on September 30. You can show your support and solidarity by wearing an orange shirt and by reading the 94 Calls to Action.”
SCO’s Every Child Matters multi-media campaign is currently visible on billboards and transit signs throughout southern Manitoba. The campaign will wrap up on September 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
SCO has a limited number of free lawn signs and t-shirts available for the public for those who would like to show their support for reconciliation and healing. These items can be picked up from our office at 1572 Dublin Avenue in Winnipeg from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm from Monday to Friday. Please note our office is closed over the lunch hour from 12 noon to 1 pm.
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 85,500 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
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