• INDIGENOUS DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH (IDAM) 2019

NOVEMBER IS

INDIGENOUS DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH

#IDAM2019

Indigenous Disability Awareness Month (IDAM) was first recognized and officially proclaimed in November 2015 by the Métis Nation British Columbia, the BC First Nations Summit and the Province of British Columbia. In 2016, the Assembly of First Nations, the Council of Yukon First Nations and the Province of Saskatchewan followed suit by also recognizing and proclaiming November as Indigenous Disability Awareness Month.

IDAM is one of the first and only observations specific to Indigenous peoples living with disabilities, anywhere in the world. It was created to raise awareness of the often unique issues and circumstances faced by the Indigenous population of Canada who live with disabilities, while recognizing the valuable contribution they bring to our communities on a daily basis. According to the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS), Indigenous peoples in Canada experience a rate of disability twice that of the non-Indigenous population. The prevalence of disability among Indigenous peoples, combined with the challenges faced by Indigenous communities (such as poverty; limited (access to) resources and infrastructure;  jurisdictional issues; remoteness and transportation; experienced discrimination/racism, etc) further compound the challenges faced by Indigenous peoples with disability.

Message From The President & CEO Of Easter Seals Canada

November is Indigenous Disability Awareness Month (IDAM). The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the unique issues and challenges faced by Indigenous individuals, families and communities, as well as to highlight and honour their contributions to society. As a national leader and Canada’s largest local provider of programs, services, issues-leadership and development for the disability community, Easter Seals is proud to do its part to promote and raise awareness of Indigenous Disability Awareness Month.

As part of our continuous efforts to ensure that our programs and services are accessible to individuals and families of all backgrounds, we recognize that much more needs to be done to close the gap between Indigenous Canadians living with disabilities, particularly those who reside in remote Indigenous communities – where access to support services, equipment and infrastructure can be limited – relative to the rest of country. But no single person or organization can do it alone.

It would take the concerted efforts of all Canadians, including governments, organizations and individuals alike – in order to ensure that Indigenous Canadians who are living with disabilities, and their families, receive the support they require. This is of particular importance as Canadians navigate the journey towards Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and communities, as promulgated by The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRCC) in its Calls to Action.

It would take the concerted efforts of all Canadians, including governments, organizations and individuals alike – in order to ensure that Indigenous Canadians who are living with disabilities, and their families, receive the support they require. This is of particular importance as Canadians navigate the journey towards Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and communities, as promulgated by The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRCC) in its Calls to Action.

With this in mind, Easter Seals Canada is therefore pleased to develop meaningful and respectful partnerships with Indigenous organizations such as the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) aimed at initiatives that enhance the independence, quality of life, and well-being of Indigenous Canadians who are living with disabilities. We also welcome and invite other Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations to join us in these efforts so that we can together build a truly inclusive and accessible Canada for all.

As Canadians, we are proud of our diversity. It is a strength and forms part of what defines us and binds us together as a country. Similarly, when we empower and include all people with disabilities, including Indigenous Canadians – and support them with what they need to thrive, contribute and be successful – it makes for a better, stronger Canada for all.

Dave Starrett

President & CEO, Easter Seals Canada

Learn More

BCANDS: British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society

This is an award-winning, Indigenous not-for-profit organization that works to serve the unique and diverse disability and health resource/support-service needs of the Indigenous population of British Columbia. BCANDS is the only organization of its type in Canada and has Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 2018.

BCANDS provides a vast array of services to eligible Indigenous individuals, families and organizations, both within Indigenous communities and within British Columbia’s urban and rural centres. For more information about BCANDS and the programs and services it offers, visit their website at http://www.bcands.bc.ca/.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRCC)

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was established in June 2008 as part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA). Founded as an arms-length organization, it was tasked with the key mandate of “creating as complete a historical record as possible of the residential school system and [its] legacy”. As part of its work over the next few years, the commission held several reconciliation events to listen to the testimonies from residential school  survivors and document their experiences. In 2015, the TRCC concluded its work with the release of a final report documenting its findings, “Honouring the Truth, Reconciling the Future,” and issued “94 Calls to Action” to “redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation”.

The research, documents, and testimonies collected by the TRCC during the course of its work is now stored at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, located at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP) is a comprehensive statement addressing the human rights of indigenous peoples. It was drafted and formally debated for over twenty years prior to being adopted by the General Assembly on 13 September 2007. The document emphasizes the individual and collective rights of Indigenous peoples to live in dignity, to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions and to pursue their self-determined development, in keeping with their own needs and aspirations. Although it is a legally non-binding agreement, the declaration calls upon signatories to adopt new approaches to national and global issues such as development. In order to achieve full respect for diversity, countries will need to adopt participatory approaches to indigenous issues, which will require effective  consultations and the building of partnerships with indigenous peoples.

Programs & Services

Easter Seals programs and services across the country include the following. Availability of programs and services vary from province to province.

© Copyright Since 2013 Easter Seals Canada. All Rights Reserved | Charitable Registration No. 12903 1118 RR0001
Hosted by IWD Canada, Proud Supporters of Easter Seals Canada
x

STAY CONNECTED WITH EASTER SEALS