Yesterday morning 26 local organizations and businesses joined the City of Winnipeg and 196 other signatories in their commitment to the ongoing Journey of Reconciliation.
Among the 26 was Siloam Mission renewing its commitment to a journey of reconciliation with Indigenous people. A signing ceremony took place at the Oodena Celebration Circle located at The Forks on June 28 in the morning.
"The ceremony was absolutely stunning," says Tessa Blaikie Whitecloud, the CEO of Siloam Mission and signatory on the accord. "We were blessed to start with a pipe ceremony with elder Wanbdi Wakita and really watch as Indigenous and non-Indigenous agencies, businesses and non-profits came together to say we know that a better Winnipeg happens through reconciliation."
Siloam Mission first signed the accord in 2017. This time it was a renewal of commitment.
"For us, we have been on a journey of listening to folks from the Indigenous community," says Blaikie Whitecloud. "Those who provide services to people we support and those who we provide services to, about what we can do better and how we can grow. Renewing our commitment today to the Indigenous accord was a key part of that."
In October 2021, Siloam Mission hired Blaikie Whitecloud as their new CEO specifically with a focus on reconciliation with the Indigenous community, especially considering over half the population who come to Siloam for services are Indigenous.
"It's about how we make sure that out of God's compassionate love, serving people in the best way possible, for them to recover and find healing. We've hired an Indigenous Relations Director who's grounded both in her traditional teachings and in her Christianity, and can help up walk through how to help people in the best way possible."
Winnipeg's mayor, Brian Bowman also attended the ceremony.
"At the junction where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers meet, The Forks has been a meeting place for over 6,000 years and is the appropriate setting for us to gather and share the steps we are taking to advance reconciliation in our community," says Bowman. "I want to thank all individuals and organizations who are past or new signatories to the Indigenous Accord. We will continue to work together as partners to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirited Calls for Justice."
The other new partners that signed the accord were:
- Albert House Inc.
- Bird Construction
- Canadian Museum for Human Rights (renewing commitment to the Accord)
- Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba
- College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba
- Creative Applications for Sustainable Technology (CAST) Inc.
- Emerge Knowledge Design Inc.
- KIDTHINK Children's Mental Health Centre Inc.
- Knowledge Bureau
- LM Architectural Group
- Manitoba Aerospace Indigenous Recruitment and Retention
- Manitoba Archaeological Society
- Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
- Manitoba Historical Society
- Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network
- Opportunities for Employment
- Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada
- Taylor McCaffrey LLP
- Tribal Councils Investment Group of Manitoba Ltd.
- Vincent Massey Collegiate
- Winnipeg Airports Authority
- Winnipeg Committee for Safety (City of Winnipeg)