Hello Chestermere-Strathmore readers
Alberta is a magnet for entrepreneurs, technology companies, and venture capital investments. The last year and a half have been tough for all of us, but we have worked together to make it through these difficult times, and we see hope on the horizon thanks largely to your hard work, your resilience, and that “get her done” spirit. COVID is a war that all of us have fought together, and I know that we will come out of this honoring those we have lost and take what we have learned, and become even stronger. On May 28th, we declared Menstrual Hygiene Day. We are challenging Albertans to donate to their local food banks and shelters with much-needed feminine hygiene products. There are so many that do not have access to products, and the stigma around conversations regarding having a period can make it very difficult for those who may be new to Canada and those who may not have the means. Many miss school, work, and the ability to participate in everyday life because they do not have essential feminine hygiene items. I want to thank Eric at No Frills and Westcreek Auto Wash for their donations that went to Camp Chestermere this week, and to Shannon Dean from Camp Chestermere, Rima and Satish Lal of the Multicultural Youth Society of Chestermere, and Hannah Mughal of Synergy for joining us in our awareness campaign to end period poverty and period stigma.
Finally, I wanted to speak about the remains of 215 First Nations children at a former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Some of the children are as young as three years old. My heart aches for our First Nations families and communities for this tragic loss. Our hearts go out to the families of these children and everyone impacted by this shameful act. The treatment of children and families that were part of the Indian Residential Schools is a deplorable chapter in our history that has caused intergenerational trauma for far too many. We must all come together and find a way to grieve, heal, and educate ourselves for future generations. A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to support former Residential School students and those affected. You can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling 24-Hour National Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419. The Indian Residential School System removed Indigenous children from their families, languages, and cultures to assimilate them into Canadian society. Many Indigenous children experienced abuse and often felt unable to fit back into their communities. The result was trauma and intergenerational trauma, causing disruptions in Indigenous cultures, practices, and beliefs. We must educate ourselves and future generations.
As always, we love to hear from you.