June is National Indigenous History Month. This is a time to reflect upon and learn the history, sacrifices, cultures, contributions, and strength of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. In addition, June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, which is a time for gatherings and celebration. As we all know, this year things will be different across Canada which will involve celebrating in our own unique way. Large gatherings may not be possible, but celebration of our culture can and must continue in ways that are close to our heart and loved ones. It is important that we celebrate this day because Canadian history has not always celebrated and respected Indigenous peoples, our culture and our ceremonial practices, as well as who we are as Indigenous people. The efforts of reconciliation look promising, but we are still in the early days.

Reconciliation was top of mind when Dr. Jeffrey Schiffer, our Executive Director, had the privilege of interviewing Mayor John Tory via Zoom, where they discussed reconciliation and Indigenous innovation in the context of COVID-19 response and recovery in the City of Toronto. We were privileged to learn more about Mayor Tory’s personal journey of reconciliation, commitment to Indigenous self-determination and sustainability of Indigenous innovation. Native Child and Family Services of Toronto is deeply grateful to Mayor Tory for taking the time to speak with us.

Watch the full interview below: