Truth and Reconciliation

Equity Statement: Truth and Reconciliation

The child welfare sector, including the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CCAS), has a long and challenging history with Indigenous communities.

We acknowledge the mistakes of the distant and recent past, and those that continue.  We acknowledge that we need to do better as an agency and as a sector to achieve true Reconciliation.

We remain committed to the 9 Reconciliation Commitments we made as part of the child welfare sector’s 2017 apology to Indigenous families, children, and communities.

We continue to monitor and evaluate our progress on these commitments to ensure improved outcomes and supports for Indigenous children, youth, families, and communities remains at the centre of our work.

Of particular urgency is the need for us to accurately identify the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children and youth in care. The unnamed missing children symbolized by unmarked graves is an oppressive, violent erasure of identity and we must ensure we are not continuing to perpetuate this harm by ignoring the identity of the families who come into contact with the child welfare system.

We must understand and honour First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. One way we can do this is by working alongside local Indigenous partners.

Learning from our Indigenous partners to better understand our role in perpetuating systemic oppression and racism is critical.  We must and will do better.

Learning from our Indigenous partners so we can better meet the needs of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children, youth, and families is fundamental. 

We are committed to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action, which will guide us in providing more culturally appropriate, respectful supports and services to Indigenous communities.

While we can’t undo the harm First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children, youth, and families have experienced in the child welfare system, we can and will commit to be an Ally, ensuring our apology and Reconciliation Commitments are fully realized.

This Equity statement was prepared in 2021 following the tragic discoveries of unmarked graves at residential schools across Canada.