TEMISKAMING, ON, November 24, 2021 — On November 23, 2021, Governor General Mary Simon opened the 44th Parliament of Canada. In light of yesterday’s Speech from the Throne, Keepers of the Circle, an Ontario urban Indigenous hub, feels hopeful the federal government will take action to prioritize Indigenous issues.
“Yesterday was a historic moment for Canada, as the first Indigenous Governor General opened the Throne speech in Inuktitut,” says Arlene Hache, Executive Director of Keepers of the Circle. “Her call for immediate action on reconciliation is one we wanted to see. We hope all Canadians were as inspired as we were to see her up there.”
In the Throne Speech, Governor General Mary Simon, read out the priorities of the new Parliament. Moving faster on the path of reconciliation through supporting mental health, ending the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) crisis, responding to the Calls to Action, and closing the gaps faced by Indigenous communities, the government outlined a promising path forward.
“We know there can be no reconciliation without truth,” says Hache. “This year has held a lot of hard truths for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. The horrors of the unmarked graves at former residential schools, the ongoing MMIWG crisis, the time is now to take a whole-of-government approach to reconciliation.”.
Keepers of the Circle will be watching for the upcoming mandate letters to see the government’s plan to support communities, close the economic gaps, and protect Indigenous people. The organization looks forward to supporting and guiding the government on this path.
Operated by the Temiskaming Native Women’s Support Group, Keepers of the Circle is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1997 to fill a services gap for Indigenous women and their families. The urban Indigenous Hub offers onsite and on-the-land programs and services at their two centres designed to support the political, economic, social, and cultural restoration of Indigenous communities.