Truth and Reconciliation

The #UNIGNORABLE Issue of Intergenerational Trauma

WARNING: This content contains stories, images, and other information that may be uncomfortable and cause an emotional trigger. Please be aware of this before viewing or reading this content. This information is meant to create an understanding of Canadian history and its negative impacts on Indigenous people. This is the “truth” part of Truth and Reconciliation. In order to get to a place of reconciliation, we must recognize and honour the truth. Please be mindful of your feelings and well-being and talk to a friend, family member or colleague if needed. You can also call 211 to speak to someone for support or resources in your area.

Two generations, two truths

Dr. Reg Crowshoe, a well-known Piikani Blackfoot Nation Elder in Calgary, is joined by Johnny Caisse, a young volunteer that helps run the Diamond Willow Youth Lodge.

In parallel, they tell a poignant and personal story of what it means to experience intergenerational trauma, stemming from the historical policies and practices that have impacted the well-being of Indigenous people, including the legacy of the residential school system. They also explore how healing and reconciliation can be advanced in the Canadian landscape.

And there’s more—click the button below to access extended footage of this interview celebrating the important role Elders play in the community, and see how they inspire resiliency in others.

Healing from intergenerational trauma and preventing it from occurring in future generations is a crucial step in supporting Indigenous people to rebuild their families and communities from a place of hope, strength, and resiliency. That’s why United Way invests in programs and services under its Indigenous Strategy that aims to change the reality of all those impacted by trauma.

It is estimated that seven generations of Indigenous children were removed from their families and placed in the residential school system, which suppressed their culture, identity, and spirituality. The subsequent loss of language, family structure, and traditional roles in Indigenous societies gave birth to a deep-rooted trauma that has been passed down from one generation to the next. This has prevented many Indigenous people from building healthy lives where they are able to meet their full potential.

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Get Immersed: More Stories

Learn more by reading this impactful and thoughtful perspective from Dr. Reg Crowshoe on how to advance reconciliation, and don’t miss Johnny’s thoughts on how the Diamond Willow Youth Lodge is building Indigenous identity right here in Calgary and creating lasting social change. Plus, how do land acknowledgments fit into the reconciliation picture?

An Elder’s Truth On Reconciliation: Dr. Reg Crowshoe On The Way Forward

An Elder’s Truth On Reconciliation: Dr. Reg Crowshoe On The Way Forward

Truth and Reconciliation reveals the long and often painful history behind Canada’s treatment of Indigenous peoples, particularly the legacy of trauma associated with the residential school system.

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Building A Better Tomorrow For Calgary’s Indigenous Youth

Building A Better Tomorrow For Calgary’s Indigenous Youth

Johnny grew up in a traditional Cree household in northern Saskatchewan. As a kid, he took part in all the cultural events in his community, often helping his grandfather with sweat lodge ceremonies. But as he grew older, he started to break away from his cultural upbringing.

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Exploring The Truth: Towards A Vision Of Reconciliation

What Are Land Acknowledgements And Why Do They Matter?

Land acknowledgments have been growing in popularity over the last decade and have become increasingly common at educational institutions, bigger public gatherings, and other civic, social, and sporting events.

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You can create lasting change for Indigenous individuals and families on a healing path. Donate now to support initiatives that strengthen Indigenous cultural identity.

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