All BC SPCA locations will be closed on Sept. 30 as we observe National Truth & Reconciliation Day, a day to recognize and commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools in Canada.
“We are encouraging our staff, volunteers and supporters to take this opportunity to reflect and learn more about the tragic history and ongoing legacy of Canada’s residential schools, either through personal reflection or through initiatives in their community,” says BC SPCA chief executive officer Craig Daniell. “Listening and learning is essential if we are to move forward towards the goal of reconciliation.”
He noted that through its Equity, Diversity and Reconciliation foundational principles and action initiatives, the BC SPCA is working toward systemic change within the animal welfare sector and in the communities it serves. “Our goal of creating humane communities cannot come to be while systemic racism and intolerance exist,” says Daniell. “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report identified the need for truth-telling as an essential element of justice and healing in reconciliation. It is important for all who work in animal welfare to understand the history of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples and their innate connection to the environment and animals, in order to build a better future.”
With the assistance of its Equity, Diversity and Reconciliation advisory group, the BC SPCA has compiled a list of resources for learning and reflection (PDF). “We encourage everyone to join with us in using these resources on Sept. 30 and beyond,” says Daniell. In addition, the society will be ‘going quiet’ on all of its social media channels on Sept. 30 to respect and create space for listening to Indigenous voices across Canada.
The BC SPCA will resume normal opening hours on Oct. 1, 2021.