To all relations in our community,
The AFKA would like to recognize National Indigenous People’s day on June 21st by acknowledging the culture, traditions and stories of Indigenous people. In the time of a pandemic it brings us more significance to promote well-being, as well as a time for acknowledgement. As we hear about the stories of Indigenous peoples, may we have open hearts to hear them with love and compassion.
With respect and prayers to all families who are mourning a tragic loss following the discovery of the 215 Indigenous children recently found near Kamloops, BC. The AFKA is heartbroken to hear of the devastating news and cannot imagine the grief and pain the community is feeling with the loss of many children. We honour the stories unfolding as this may cause sadness, anger, hurt and disbelief. It is important to understand the history and the past tragedies of Indigenous peoples. With respect to all Indigenous people we can all strive to empathize and find some common ground by hearing the stories from tragedies such as residential schools, as this is part of Canada’s history. Even if that means having difficult conversations by allowing these conversations to happen, we will continue learning, understanding and doing better. This will lead us into a preferable future for all non-Indigenous and Indigenous children and families.
Lastly, with grief or tragic news comes healing. This healing can be achieved by promoting positive mental well-being, physical presence and emotional care. May we continue to pursue our goals, passion and understanding of all cultures. Our commitment is not to continue past mistakes, but to have more connection with diversity and culture.
With warmest regards,
Sylvia Thompson – President, Alberta Foster and Kinship Association Board of Directors
Katherine Jones – Executive Director, Alberta Foster and Kinship Association