The National Day of Action (held today) for Aboriginal people in Canada is about truth, reconciliation, justice and change.
It is also an opportunity for the regular people of Canada to walk peacefully alongside their indigenous neighbours in support of the tremendous actions it will take to achieve the necessary outcomes.
In Vancouver, there are many Aboriginal organizations that throughout the years have created a vibrant and solution-oriented urban Aboriginal community.
These places rely on volunteers, donations and general support as they help those in need, many of them single families and youth. They provide a sense of belonging and hope, like Urban Native Youth Association and the Aboriginal Mother Centre. But the solutions they create cannot be implemented by this small community alone, and projects like the Native Youth Centre that would become an international model of success are dying on the backburner. Widespread support from the general public is needed to create this new and positive path. Reasons for Aboriginal injustice and poverty are not taught in schools, and most people live comfortably with uninformed stereotypical assumptions that only reinforce discrimination and neglect for Aboriginal issues.
Today represents that, as a society, we are ready to change all of that.
Ginger Gosnell-Myers, 30, is a board member at the Centre for Native Policy and Research and a Public Policy Graduate Student at Simon Fraser University.