Twenty five years after the last residential school closed its doors, its painful legacy continues to impact the lives of its survivors, their families and communities. The intergenerational trauma resulting from the residential school system is still felt by those whose lives have been scarred by it. Today, over 60% of youth in care in British Columbia are Indigenous while only accounting for approximately 8% of the total youth population— an overrepresentation that is not a coincidence.  

At BC Foster Parents Association, we recognize our role in the ‘system of care’ and our responsibility to support foster families in order to provide a culturally safe environment where a child can learn and practice their traditions, customs and language and to belong to their Indigenous community. 

Although we serve all foster families of British Columbia, our work takes place on the traditional and unceded territory of Coast Salish peoples, shared by the Kwantlen, Katzie, Matsqui and Semiahmoo First Nations.

We are committed to reconciliation with all Indigenous communities, and creating a space where we listen, learn and grow together. In recent years, our Board and management team have encouraged our staff to participate in educational courses or programs where we can learn the true history of lands — now known as Canada— upon which we live, work and play. We are not afraid to have uncomfortable conversations about Canada’s painful history and to take meaningful actions in our lives and in our work to confront our privilege and do our part to end systems of oppression. We forge strong and respectful partnerships with Indigenous Peoples in our work. 

We are inspired by the 94 calls to action from the Commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the calls for justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. 

Today, our office will be closed as we observe the National Day for Truth And Reconciliation. We will be listening to stories of residential school survivors, wearing orange shirts in solidarity, supporting Indigenous-led causes, and reflecting on what we can do to address the 94 Calls to Action. 

Reconciliation begins with each and everyone of us.