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Journée nationale de la vérité et de la réconciliation
Journée nationale de la vérité et de la réconciliation
Posted on 09/28/2023
National Day for Truth and ReconciliationIndigenous Flag
A message from Dr. Nadiya Sunderji,
Waypoint President and CEO

As we approach National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th, it’s a time for us to reflect on the historical and ongoing present day impacts of colonialism, and to continue to strengthen our commitment to allyship in support of our Indigenous colleagues and our shared causes of health, social, and climate justice.

For many years, Waypoint has worked to foster healing and inspire hope. Following the uncovering of unmarked children’s graves on the grounds of residential ‘schools’ in 2020 and 2021, we have endeavoured to listen, learn, and take action standing together with our many Indigenous partners as we seek to do better for our patients, clients, families, staff, and community, including by advancing culturally sensitive trauma-informed care.

In 2021, we raised a flag to express our commitment to our partners and everyone we serve that we are moving forward together, learning, and being a part of healing and offering hope for a better and stronger future. 

The flag was designed by Ryan Walsh, an employee at Mamaway Wiidokdaawin Primary Care Team, and represents the Bear Clan, which is tasked with medicine and healing. The vegetation designs, unique to the Ojibwe and Métis, represent life. The bear is walking forward toward the future, promoting hope and a greater experience of healing. The medicine wheel has many applications, all of which have balance as one aspect, with the primary meaning symbolizing unity and importance of the races. 

Waypoint recently updated our organizational structure to align with the strategic priorities in our Enabling Plans and included a new interim position of Director of Collaborative Learning and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. This work also aligns with our values of respect and caring and will help continue to build an equitable, diverse, and inclusive Waypoint, where people feel a sense of belonging and are treated fairly, and where we are collectively working toward the goal of eliminating discrimination in all its forms. 

On this Sept. 30th, I encourage you to attend the Midland Community Health Hub Truth and ReconciliACTION Day, a celebration of Indigenous culture through music, art, and dance. The opening ceremony begins at 9 a.m. with the lighting of the sacred fire, a smudge prayer, drumming and songs and inspiring words about the significance of this important day as we collectively strive for a future of reconciliation and harmony. For more information on the event, visit

I also encourage you to wear an orange shirt, ideally one purchased from an Indigenous organization. The orange shirt is a symbol of the terrible stripping away of culture and freedom experienced by Indigenous children over generations. Locally in Midland, orange shirt day merchandise can be purchased at Culture Coven, an Indigenous-owned business. Both Walmart and Giant Tiger have partnered with Indigenous artists to design their orange shirts with 100% of the proceeds at both stores being donated to Indspire. Indspire is an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people across Canada through scholarships and the Learning from the Past Fund. Indspire will also donate a portion of the T-shirt profits to the Orange Shirt Society, so they may continue the important work they do in raising awareness. 

On this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, let us stand together as a healthcare community, committed to listening, learning and healing. We recognize the deep-rooted pain and resilience of our First Nations, Métis and Inuit patients and staff. We are dedicated to fostering a culture or respect, understanding, and ensuring that everyone receives the care they deserve, with dignity and compassion.