As part of shared efforts to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, Cooperation Canada acknowledges the historic and ongoing violence committed against Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island in the name of ‘development’ and the abuse and trauma inflicted by colonization, including through residential schools, on children, their families, and communities. As a national association of international development and humanitarian organizations in Canada, we recognize the importance of engagement and action on truth and reconciliation in Canada, and the ongoing and pressing need to address racism and decolonize our narratives and practices in international cooperation.

On September 30, Cooperation Canada will observe the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by closing our offices and encouraging our team to reflect on the painful legacy and impacts of residential schools, and our role in truth and reconciliation. As early and recent settlers on this land, at Cooperation Canada we are unpacking our individual responsibilities and collective duty to speak up and not look away from colonial oppression at home or abroad, and to stand up and not back down in our efforts to promote equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, and justice. Our staff are encouraged to observe Orange Shirt Day on September 30 in consideration for the survivors and intergenerational survivors of the residential school system and commemoration of those who did not return home.

Cooperation Canada recognizes that we can and must do better to address colonial legacies in international cooperation, learning from Indigenous peoples in Canada and across the world.

We encourage all members of the international cooperation community to take part in related events that are planned across the country and consult some of the publicly available resources.