The work of the Canadian Women’s Foundation and the organizations we support takes place on traditional First Nations, Métis, and Inuit territories. We are grateful for the opportunity to meet and work on this land. However, we recognize that land acknowledgments are not enough. We need to pursue truth, reconciliation, decolonization, and allyship in an ongoing effort to make right with all our relations.
To start, we are learning and unlearning within the Foundation itself. In 2019 and 2020, we will learn from key reports on truth and reconciliation and grow our understanding of relevant issues such as the historical impacts of “charity work” on Indigenous communities; gender rights activism led by Indigenous leaders; and how settler-based organizations can build allied relationships with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities.
This will prepare us to commit to concrete action across our departments and sign onto The Philanthropic Community’s Declaration of Action developed by The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. We will also take learnings from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls to inform our work and actions.
After these initial steps, we will further pursue truth and reconciliation efforts in our organizational plans. This will include how we make grants, administer community gatherings, deepen community relationships, engage in policy and practice change work, and report on activities and outcomes along the way.