Honouring National Day for Truth and Reconciliation9/28/2023
BCAA and Evo observe National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, closing our locations and allowing team members to participate in this significant day. However, observing September 30th is about more than the day itself. It presents an opportunity for all of us to demonstrate our commitment to understanding our shared history as British Columbians and advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
Artist Spotlight: Ovila Mailhot
In support of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Day, you will notice special digital signage in all BCAA Service Locations and Auto Service Centres. The artwork featured on these digital posters was specially created by Ovila Mailhot, a self-taught artist originally from Seabird Island, BC, with roots in the Nlaka'pamux and Stó:lō Nations.
“My artwork is inspired by the traditions of my people and culture. Learning more about the ancestral elements of Coast Salish art helps me find ways to show who I am and where I'm from. Art feels vital to me. Being able to share that passion I have is important to me. This tradition of work, this beauty, is so necessary for our culture and healing.”
Ovi’s design for BCAA features two Salish eagles within a heart – clean and simple, yet elegant and bold.
"To me Truth and Reconciliation Day is the day we honor the residential school survivors and children our people lost. A day of remembrance and reflection for our Nation as we continue looking towards the path of healing."
For more of Ovi’s art, visit Salish Son Design.
As a 117-year-old Purpose-led organization, we must do our part to reflect on our complex historical role in British Columbia and with Indigenous communities. Here are a few ways we’re listening, learning and actively advancing reconciliation today:
- Offering reconciliation-related learning opportunities to team members, including Lunch and Learns with Indigenous community partners.
- Designing Indigenous Awareness eLearning for Team Members and leaders.
- Partnering with PLATO to offer internships in digital product testing to Indigenous students.
- Drafting and erecting location-specific land acknowledgements within BCAA Service Locations and Auto Service Centres in consultation with local Indigenous communities.
- Offering team members one paid day of leave for cultural, religious, ceremonial or spiritual observances of their choosing.
- Donating $25,000 to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, a BC-based organization that provides services to residential school Survivors.
- Matching employee donations to Indigenous organizations or organizations directly supporting Indigenous communities.
This signifies the beginning of our continuous learning journey as an organization. BCAA and Evo are committed to continuing to incorporate reconciliation into our policies, practices and culture in alignment with the TRC’s Calls to Action.
IRSSS staff provide emotional and cultural support at a conference held by the Office of the Independent Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites associated with Indian Residential Schools. (Image credit: Indian Residential School Survivors Society)
What can you do?
Reconciliation is an ongoing and active process in which we can all take part. Here are a few suggestions to honour those lost, the Survivors, their families and communities by learning together:
- Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada reports, including the TRC's Calls to Action
- Watch ‘Wawahte: Stories of Residential School Survivors’
- Read ‘Five Little Indians’ by Michelle Good
- Listen to podcast ‘Kuper Island’
Join BCAA and Evo in supporting organizations who are advocating to keep Indigenous culture and history alive, and who are working hard to improve the lives of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples across the country.
Through our BCAA Gives Back platform, BCAA Team Members are making contributions to support the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS), Indigenous Perspectives Society, Reconciliation Canada, RAVEN (Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs) and The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, and our Members can donate too.