Indigenous Outreach

Robert Thibeau, CD

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The forming of the Veterans and Emergency Responders Indigenous Advisory Circle is to address the needs of these Indigenous heroes and families by better supporting the organizations across the country who deliver services to them.

Understanding that there are resources out there for Veterans and First Responders, the Advisory Circle will concentrate its efforts on Indigenous Veterans and First Responders in rural and isolated regions of Canada and will provide recommendations based upon the support needs of the Veterans including any cultural needs.  Through consultation and dialogue with the Indigenous community some recourses may be available; however, we will focus on social work, mental health, cultural guidance with Elders as well as seeking out when required those who can assist with financial support. 

The Circle itself will be conducted through traditional ways, with complete equality within the Circle.  All voices will be heard, recommendations discussed, and consensus reached before bringing forward any advice or recommendations for consideration.  It must be clearly understood that as a Circle we are advisors and not the ones to set policy.  The Respect Forum is responsible for making Policy and Advisory Circle recommendations for further consideration. 

No one group or organization will control the Circle which allows for meetings to become one of consensus rather than by individual or splintered groups.   The circle is intended to provide the Respect Forum with appropriate advice for policy and assistance to all Indigenous serving members and Veterans of the Armed Forces, First Responders, and families. 

Meetings, be they in person or virtual, will include land acknowledgement and because we are spread across the country it will include acknowledging the lands of our ancestors.  Our Elder will deliver both the acknowledgement as well as prayer to Creator. In person meetings will include a Smudge Ceremony for those who are inclined to do so and in a virtual setting it will be left to individual preference.