Reconciliation within BBBS of the Battlefords
The mission of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatchewan agencies* is to provide quality volunteer-based mentoring programs to youth in the province. Based on this the member agencies of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatchewan are committed to a path of on-going reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, based on mutually respectful relationships within two core commitments of the 94 Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. These commitments will serve as a framework for our organizations action as we move forward toward reconciliation.
Our responsibility to the Calls to Action is based on the following:
Call to Action #7: We call upon [Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatchewan] to develop alongside Aboriginal groups, a joint strategy to eliminate educational and employment gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
Call to Action #92: We call upon [Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatchewan] to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as a reconciliation framework and to apply its principles, norms, and standards, to corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous peoples and their lands and resources.
The member agencies of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatchewan, recognize that these Calls to Action require us to be critical and transformative regarding our current practices and policies. We must be reflective about reconciliation, within all facets of our organization. United in our goals, the member agencies have begun moving toward the following initiatives:
Shared Journey: Shared Journey was created in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and is aimed at creating agency within the youth and mentors life to action reconciliation. The structure of the program is a mentor-lead, ten-week program that incorporates fun, educational games & activities designed to stimulate self-reflection and group discussion on the theme of reconciliation and history of Indigenous people. Each session is 1.5 hours in length and is held after school or during lunch break, primarily within school facilities.
Indigenous toolkit: As a non-Indigenous organization working with many communities, including Indigenous communities, and has a high rate of Indigenous youth in our programming and low Indigenous mentors, we embarked on a journey on how best to equip mentors in our programs. The process included meetings, dialogues, Elders, surveys, community members, Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations, and teachings. This process was very important as it helped us to learn and grow as an organization and future mentors.
The BBBS Indigenous Toolkit can be found HERE.
LEARN MORE ABOUT RECONCILIATION
TRC Calls to Action http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/index.php?p=3
United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples https://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf
A Portrait on First Nation and Education http://www.afn.ca/uploads/files/events/fact_sheet-ccoe-3.pdf
Final Report from TRC http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/File/2015/Exec_Summary_2015_06_25_web_o.pdf
*Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatchewan Inc. is comprised of: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lloydminster, Big Brothers of Regina (serving communities in Weyburn and Moose Jaw), YWCA Big Sisters of Regina, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yorkton and Area (serving communities in Churchbridge, Esterhazy, Langenburg, Melville, and Rocanville), and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatoon and Area (serving communities in The Battlefords, Humboldt, Melfort, and Prince Albert).