National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
The Federal Government has marked September 30th to be Truth and Reconciliation Day – a statutory holiday for many provinces.
We want to acknowledge this day and express our deepest sympathy and sadness for Indigenous Peoples after the discovery of the unmarked graves of buried children. The OPA acknowledges that the field of psychology has utilized methods and practices that have not only been unhelpful, but have also been harmful and infringed on Indigenous People’s rights and dignities. While the field continues to work to evolve our practices, there is still much more work to be done, as there still continues to be harm perpetuated through use of our methods and practices towards Indigenous Peoples.
The OPA remains steadfastly committed to the efforts to deconstruct the systemic impact of colonialism in our field, and engage in ongoing reflection and training with respect to promoting cultural safety and competency. We hope to build bridges, earn trust, and work collaboratively to address barriers to trauma-informed and culturally- and contextually-appropriate care in Indigenous Communities. These efforts also include working to increase representation of Indigenous Peoples and other diverse groups in the field of psychology. This includes not only Indigenous speakers at our annual conference, but also the OPA is also offering a $3000 bursary for an Indigenous student pursuing graduate studies in psychology, intended to be an annual award. We stand in solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and work to acknowledge and take accountability for improving our profession for all.