Community News Update - October 2, 2023

Dear Community,

This weekend, across Turtle Island, settlers like me read, listened, and learned about the atrocities of Indian Residential Schools, and we recommitted to doing our part to advocate against anti-Indigenous racism in all its many manifestations.

Residential Schools only ended in 1996. This is living memory. This is not long ago. The trauma of these genocide sites that stole culture, language, and teachings, that starved, sexually assaulted, and killed Indigenous children still exists today. Ongoing intergenerational trauma continues to exist.

This weekend, I learned more about Canada's history of genocide, colonialism, and the toxic Gradual Civilization Act and later Indian Act and the oppression (continuing to this day) of Indigenous Peoples.

I also learned about Indigenous resistance, resilience, the profound role of storytelling, dance, dress, circle, and the seven grandfathers.

I was told that this day, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, is not about celebration. It's about remembering those children who were stolen from her on their land and who never returned, the ones buried nameless and numberless, the parents torn away. I was told it's about the countless missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and two-spirit peoples. It's about remembering those who returned but were never the same.

We all play a part. Our apologies and our tears aren't enough. Action is needed. Real allyship -- not only what's comfortable and easy. Real responsibility and accountability.

Here's to the implementation of the calls for justice of the National Inquiry on MMIWG and the calls for action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Here's to implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People's Free, Prior, and Informed Consent and more...

As an individual action, if you're able to make a donation to an Indigenous organization, please consider doing so. This isn't a "fix." Don't mistake it as such. It's simply one way of helping to support and amplify the work and the people behind the work happening on the ground all around us.

On Saturday, our friends at Soul Provisions hosted a screening of their upcoming comedy-reality-food show that will be coming out on Bell this month!

It was fantastic to visit with community and see the fabulous City Girl Sara at Hot Docs Cinema!

Congratulations, Sara!

See below pictures of me with Sara and Ngozi Paul on the red carpet!

I also stopped by Bloom Bar to take in their comedy cabaret. Stay tuned for a spooky night of comedy featuring yours truly!

Looking for a new tree or bush for your yard? Look no further! See below for an exciting opportunity organized by our friends at OVCO!

Each year across Ontario, thousands of lives are lost to overdoses. We need every level of government to prioritize implementing harm reduction strategies to combat these senseless deaths, and you can help.

As many of you know, Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, and these kits are FREE with training at participating pharmacies across the city. Together, we can prevent unnecessary deaths and work toward a more compassionate society that is safe safe for everyone.

Find a pharmacy with Naloxone kits near you, and make sure you can recognize the signs of an overdose.

In Solidarity, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's


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