OPFP acknowledges the harm colonialism has done to Indigenous peoples who inhabit Tkaranto, the land where OPFP operates, in the Dish with One Spoon treaty territory of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, the Haudenosaunee, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. These Nations were forcibly ousted from their traditional lands by European colonialization, the continental project which killed and traumatized generations of Turtle Island's Inuit, First Nations, and Métis people. Proud descendants of these communities thrive today despite the inhumane experiences of their ancestors. Our advocacy on mental health policy includes calls to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s health-related Calls to Action (Recommendations 18-24 and 55). Culturally safe and appropriate psychological care that is delivered and led by Indigenous health care providers and Elders is a funding responsibility of the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments as a basic form of reparation for the genocide of the rightful inhabitants of this land. The bitter legacy of Residential Schools has destroyed untold numbers of families by forcing Western capitalist norms on cultures that have always valued spiritual balance, child-centered practices, and holistic living in their families, in their communities, and with the environment. Our lobbying to preserve public funding for psychotherapy includes Ontario settlers’ responsibility to promote Indigenous rights to timely, appropriate, safe psychological and spiritual care that their communities determine is right for themselves.
We also acknowledge the complicity of settler institutions in harming Black and racialized community members. Oppressive systems have repeatedly turned their mental health struggles into crimes punishable by forcible restraint, imprisonment, and death, rather than compassionate, effective care. Medical schools and professional organizations must revamp curricula, hiring practices, training, and models of care that allow Black and racialized patients and practitioners to flourish. Mental health administrators should routinely partner with underrepresented communities to develop and deliver publicly-funded, quality mental health care appropriate for their needs.
Find whose traditional land you inhabit at https://native-land.ca/
To learn about Survivors of Residential Schools see https://legacyofhope.ca/wherearethechildren/stories/