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BMG Statement on 215 Indigenous Children

Truth and Reconciliation

We understand that reconciliation is a process that requires us to be cognizant of the history and impacts of colonization on Canada’s First People. We commit to working towards truth, justice, forgiveness, healing and reparation. Barnes Management Group (BMG) has worked alongside Indigenous leadership, organizations and communities for twenty years. We have always believed the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) was an excellent framework for reconciliation and applied the principles in our practice approach. Our engagement is always based on respectful relationship building and ensuring prior consent and ownership of information is with the Indigenous community or organization. We select consultants to work on our projects with Indigenous organizations and communities carefully to ensure they espouse the tenets of reconciliation. We are committed to Indigenous People exercising their constitutional rights under section 35 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; the reclamation of jurisdiction over child and family services under the federal legislation “An Act respecting First Nation, Inuit and Metis children, youth and families”. We welcome the recent federal legislation “The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act; and are strong advocates for the recent planning process occurring across Canada to develop “Distinctions Based Health Legislation” with the Federal government, Indigenous leaders, the provinces and territories, to improve access to high-quality, culturally relevant health services. We believe that Indigenous people in Canada have the right to self-determination in all aspects of their lives, including land and treaty rights.

Values and Beliefs

At BMG we approach our work with the following values and beliefs:

  • We acknowledge that the experience of colonialism and resulting inter-generational trauma requires a systematic approach that addresses the broader social, economic and historical contexts of the communities.
  • We believe that the well-being of Indigenous people and inequities suffered are rooted in racism, marginalization, and social exclusion.
  • We subscribe to the approach that Indigenous ways of knowing and being, including the concepts of spirituality, connectedness and reciprocity to the land, self-reliance and self-determination advances health equality and positive outcomes for families and communities.
  • We understand the critical importance of collaboration and engagement with Indigenous people.
    In all aspects of our work, we respect local and traditional knowledge.
  • We believe in transparency and being held accountable for our work.

BMG acknowledges and supports First Nation communities who have lived through the process of discovery of unmarked graves of children and youth who died while attending Residential Schools. Our thoughts and prayers are with the grieving families, survivors and communities.

We support the implementation of the Calls to Action 71-76 in the Truth and Reconciliation Report, dealing with Missing Children and Burial Sites.

We support the First Nations leadership in Canada who have called upon the Federal Government to work with all First Nations in all provinces and territories to support the on-going investigations into sites where other children may be buried.

A national Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for residential school survivors and others affected by on- going reports of children found in unmarked graves. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.