June 21, 2017/ Toronto
OCASI - Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants acknowledges the traditional territories of the peoples of Turtle Island and thanks Indigenous peoples for allowing us to settle on these lands. We affirm our commitment to the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as the collective voice for Ontario’s immigrant and refugee-serving sector, and within our organization and in our governance.
Over the last ten years, through our work as a steering committee member of the Colour of Poverty/Colour of Change Network (COP/COC), OCASI has begun the process of acknowledging and reflecting the history of the colonization of Indigenous peoples in our work, while respecting the nation to nation relationships between Indigenous Peoples and the Canadian state. In November 2013, we have had the honour of co-sponsoring a conference, entitled From Remembrance to Reconciliation with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, along with COP/COC, the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic (formerly known as Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic), to explore the role of communities of colour in achieving reconciliation. We helped draft the statement “Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation / Un engagement envers la vérité, la justice et la réconciliation” and have endorsed it. We have also taken steps to support the concerns and issues of the Indigenous communities in our reports to the United Nations on Canada’s compliance with various human rights treaties.
Through both personal acts of respect, and OCASI’s ongoing advocacy work in the promotion of social justice and human rights and capacity building for Ontario’s immigrant and refugee-serving sector, we affirm our commitment to understanding and honouring Treaty relationships and to work in solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of these lands and territories.