Ottawa is a Place of Belonging for All Aboriginal People
The Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition is committed to establishing and maintaining strong and respectful relationships between the Aboriginal community and different levels of government, non-Aboriginal service organizations and amongst the Aboriginal organizations. To truly support Aboriginal people in Ottawa we recognize that the entire community will need to work together.
In 2015 the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition developed a relationship model when working with non-Aboriginal partners in the area of mental health that we have used in other areas of our work. It was first presented as part of an Aboriginal Mental Health conference at City Hall organized by Minwaashin Lodge. This model recognizes that for reconciliation relationships to be established there needs to be equal respect for western knowledge and indigenous knowledge. There are specific outcomes for each direction:
One key outcome is the number of stand-alone Aboriginal programs, services and organizations that are developed and operated based on Indigenous knowledge and led by Aboriginal people.
The OAC are looking for outcomes that indicate that we know how to work with each other and have culturally competent practices. Outcomes include the number of joint programs and services that we provide and which, of these programs, are developed and run based on Indigenous knowledge.
We increase the number of mainstream service providers that have a greater knowledge about the Aboriginal community in Ottawa and have increased their confidence in working
with Aboriginal people.
Mainstream organizations have examined their own internal practices and made changes to ensure that Aboriginal community members access the services and experience a culturally safe and positive experience. In some cases that means transforming the programs that an organization
provides to the community.
The release of the final report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in December 2015 called on all Canadians, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal to implement the 94 Calls to Action. The OAC is committed to contributing to reconciliation and honouring the survivors of residential school. As part of our work we have worked closely with the City of Ottawa to build a Reconciliation Action Plan based on the Calls to Action.