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When it comes to Indigenous Reconciliation, people often ask, “What can be done or what can I do?” or they are uncertain or uncomfortable about getting involved. It can feel overwhelming, and we’re here to help.

We invite you to join the Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships team at BCIT in June 2021 to honour Indigenous stories, voices and lived experiences. Participating in National Indigenous Peoples month is the beginning of a lifelong journey all Canadians, young and old, need to take. As Murray Sinclair has succinctly noted, “Reconciliation is not an Aboriginal problem; it is a Canadian one.”

What’s happening during Indigenous Peoples Month at BCIT?

Each week we will highlight a different theme and offer opportunities for you to expand your knowledge of Indigenous worldviews, histories and people. Here is an overview of what you can expect.

Week 1: Read (June 1 – 6)

We have selected three feature reads for the month: titles written by Indigenous, Inuit and Métis authors.

Week 2: Listen (June 7 – 13)

This week we are thrilled to feature podcasts by First Nations, Métis and Inuit creators, audio clips of creation stories told by Indigenous people and online resources that will help you learn more about Indigenous Languages including how to properly pronounce the names of local First Nations.

Week 3: Watch (June 14 – 20)

This week we are proud to feature interviews with Survivors from Indian Residential Schools (e.g. Kamloops Residential School), documentaries, short and feature films by Indigenous directors, and videos of First Nation, Métis and Inuit creators sharing their Indigenous artistry (e.g. basket weaving, jig dancing, sculpting).

Week 4: Do (June 21 – 27)

This week we are excited to feature things that you can do to start your journey of reconciliation and celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day and Month in 2021. We have guidelines on how to properly invite an Indigenous Elder to an upcoming class, meeting or event at BCIT. We have also selected some museums that you can visit to learn more about Residential Schools and contemporary Indigenous artists, some Indigenous awareness courses you can take, and Indigenous festivals you can attend. Get in touch with us: indigenous@bcit.ca.

Week: 5 Reflect (June 28 – July 4)

We hope that you have enjoyed getting to know more about Indigenous cultures, people and perspectives. This week, we invite you to reflect on what you’ve learnt over the past month: write a blog post, tell a friend or colleague about your favourite resource, and test your knowledge by completing BCIT’s Indigenous Awareness Course: https://www.bcit.ca/indigenous-services/resources/indigenous-101/

Next Steps
It’s important that you continue learning after June 30th: the work of a true ally is never over. We encourage you to take the next step: find out whose land you live, work and play on; create and share your own land acknowledgement; and develop your skills as an ally by learning more about such topics as micro-aggressions. We have prepared the following resources to support you along the way.