A message from CEO Ross Chilton and BCANDS Executive Director and CLBC IAC Chair Neil Belanger:
CLBC is pleased to join the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) in recognizing the sixth annual Indigenous Disability Awareness Month in November. The month celebrates the unique contributions First Nations, Métis and Inuit people living with disabilities make to communities throughout the province.
Strengthening relationships with Indigenous individuals, families and communities is a priority for Community Living BC. Our goal is for our approaches and services to reflect and respect Indigenous cultures and values.
CLBC’s Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) includes representatives from across the province and provides guidance from an Indigenous worldview perspective. The IAC provides valuable input into how CLBC can better understand the needs and improve service delivery to Indigenous people.
Following consultations with the IAC, CLBC announced in June 2020 the creation of a new Executive Director role reporting to the CEO to oversee the establishment of a new Indigenous team that will inform CLBC policies, improve service standards about cultural safety and sensitivity, and lead community engagement efforts. CLBC will also be engaging with the IAC around implementing the Indigenous-related recommendations in the Reimagining Community Inclusion report.
Collectively these efforts contribute to CLBC’s efforts to incorporate Bill 41 – 2019 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, the 2018 Draft Principles that guide the BC Public Service on relationships with Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.
BCANDS created the Indigenous Disability Awareness Month in 2015. BCANDS is encouraging everyone to recognize the month by hosting virtual celebrations to raise awareness of the valuable contributions that Indigenous Persons living with disabilities bring to all of our communities. See the BCANDS poster here and help recognize the month by using the hashtag #IDAM2020 on social media.
Throughout the pandemic, CLBC has been providing information about resources for Indigenous communities in its COVID-19 e-newsletter to individuals and families and on the CLBC website.
We hope you will join us in recognizing this important month.