YMCA of Greater Saint John: Statement of Reconciliation to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada

Statement of Reconciliation

All YMCAs in Canada share in the mission to build healthy communities through the power of belonging. For our country to become the Canada we want, the National YMCA recognizes that we must place a special and intentional focus on Canada’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples.

The YMCA of Greater Saint John has a vision: to be a leader and valued partner in developing a healthy, diverse, and growing community. As part of our ongoing mission to be more inclusive, we are committed to creating safe, meaningful spaces and opportunities for diverse perspectives to shape our organization at the leadership level, among staff and volunteers, and across programs environments, to the collective benefit of our participants, donors, and the community at large.

Our Y declares its pledge to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. We acknowledge and respect that our programs, services, and community facilities are on the traditional territory of the Passamaquoddy, Wolastoqiyik/Maliseet, and Mi’kmaq nations.

Our Y is aware of the impact that colonial actions, including residential schools, have had on our Indigenous Peoples, and we remain committed to understanding past injustices and will continue to move forward for a better future. The Y has been present in Saint John for over 165 years and, through our inaction, we have been complicit in the treatment of our indigenous communities. For this, we express our sincerest regret.

Our Y is committed to playing our role in addressing the Calls to Action that have been made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which includes the following:

  • To close the gaps in health outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities; and
  • To provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal Peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal Crown relations.

To achieve these goals, we will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.

We are devoted to developing and sharing program models, tools, and resources that will improve Indigenous Peoples’ access to our programs and services. We will work with Indigenous communities as partners to find opportunities to have an active presence where it is desired.

The YMCA of Greater Saint John is committed to moving beyond a statement of reconciliation: to the development and implementation of our diversity and social inclusion strategy.

More Information

For more information on diversity and inclusion iniatives at the YMCA of Greater Saint John, please reach our to our Social Inclusion Facilitator.

Chris Squire | +1-506-646-2387 | c.squire@saintjohny.ca