Presidential Message, Truth and Reconcilation Day, September 30, 2021

On this National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, it is important that from coast to coast to coast, we acknowledge the ancestral and traditional lands of all the Inuit, Métis, and First Nations people who call this land home. I am sending this greeting from Montreal, land that has traditionally served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst diverse Indigenous Peoples.  The Kanien’kehà:ka/People of the Flint (Mohawk) are a founding nation of the Haudenosaunee/People of the Longhouse (Iroquois) Confederacy, the traditional stewards of the lands and waters from which I write to you. I have deep respect for the land that I am on today, and for the Indigenous People who have and do reside here. As well, I acknowledge that the Canadian Psychological Association, located in Ottawa, sits on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg People.

As we acknowledge these lands and their Peoples, join me in a moment of reflection to recognize the atrocities and abuses, both past and ongoing, and consider how we can each, in our own way, try to move forward in a spirit of truth, reconciliation and allyship. Each of us must reflect on our role in colonization and commit to action that brings about meaningful and lasting change.

Truth and reconciliation require a commitment to listening to the diversity of meanings that Indigenous People bring to this day and honor their perspectives and experiences. This day is a time to affirm the resilience and strengths of the surviving families, and communities as well as those who were lost.  It is also a time, to celebrate the customs, traditions, languages, and cultures of Indigenous Peoples with respect and dignity.

The Canadian Psychological Association and psychology as a discipline emerged in the historical context of colonization and has a responsibility, through the work of its pillars, committees, sections, and governance to bring about Truth and Reconciliation.  CPA holds itself accountable to the recommendations in the association’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Report which has become one of the goals of the association’s strategic plan. As an association, we can and must do more to meet the goals of the TRC report’s Calls to Action. On September 30th, CPA honours this day of Truth and Reconciliation with a series of resources offered to our membership, as well as through events across the country that contribute to increasing awareness, knowledge, and action among psychology and the public in creating allyship with Indigenous Peoples.

Please join me in this moment in history by making a sincere and significant commitment to moving forward, to take action and walk with Indigenous People on this path towards truth and reconciliation.

Ada L. Sinacore, PhD
President, Canadian Psychological Association