OFPF acknowledges the harm colonialism has done to Indigenous peoples who inhabit the land where OFPF operates, Tkaranto, in the Dish with One Spoon treaty territory of the Haudneshones, Wendat, and later Mississauga of the Credit, who were forcibly ousted from their land. European colonialism inflicted trauma that destroyed the mental well-being of generations of Turtle Islands’ First Peoples and the Metis Nation. 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 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 existing 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 white settler institutions in harming Black and racialised community members and turning their mental anguish into crimes punishable by forcible restraint, imprisonment and death, rather than compassionate, effective care. Our mental health services are embedded in pernicious racism and white privileged norms that medical schools and professional organizations must systemically dismantle. OPFP calls on mental health administrators to empower underrepresented communities as their full planning partners and stakeholders to develop and deliver publicly-funded, quality mental health care appropriate for their needs.
To learn whose traditional land you inhabit, find it at https://native-land.ca/