Public Health Association of BC Public Health Association of BC

Canada’s moral obligation: Truth and Reconciliation

Truth and Reconciliation. Indigenous woman stands in a grassy field and looks into the sunrise. She wears an orange dress and places her hands on her hips.

PHABC emphasizes that our moral obligation as Canadians is to bring peace and to honour Indigenous means of transforming societal harmony.

It’s hard to put into words the raw emotions and realities that accompany the words “Truth and Reconciliation.” After all, history and the present symbolize much adversity and suffering that we can no longer deny.

We must walk alongside our Indigenous partners to support the transformation of these obligations into actions, and ultimately, foundations for an equitable and compassionate society.

True depth in silence, reflection and dedication are core to commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day. Individuals, communities and systems must self-examine their responsibilities for healing change.

It’s also no coincidence that those dates fall right next to the International Day of Non-Violence and Child Health Day. While the basis for public health encompasses the right to a safe and just society, the realities are much starker.

We must ensure that our promises are commitments; our actions encompass integrity; and that the past does not repeat itself.

PHABC pledges ourselves to these obligations, and we extend this opportunity for hope to all Canadians.

Juan Solorzano

Juan Solorzano