CCAA has been of service to First Nations in a variety of ways. Over the last several years, we have worked with First Nations in the provision of services, in our build program and in creating public awareness of First Nation issues, particularly the needs of residential school survivors.
In 2012, we have helped rebuild a community centre on the Six Nations Reserve, we have had First Nations’ guests on our weekly television show, we have featured articles on First Nations in our eZine and we have received a contribution from the Indian Residential School Adjudication Secretariat to assist First Nations’ survivors in Saskatchewan with their healing during the adjudication phase of compensation.
We first came into contact with Tony Stevenson around the time of the Maple Leaf Gardens sex scandal. Over the years, we assisted Tony through our Legal Assistance Fund and we brought him to Toronto to participate in related events and presentations where he met Ken Dryden of the Maple Leafs, sports lawyer Gordon Kirke, Toronto columnist Christie Blatchford and many others all whom took an interest in Tony’s journey.
Several years ago, Tony approached us to help with the creation of an event to honour residential school survivors. Most recently, this led to our working with the Indian Residential School Adjudication Secretariat to offer workshops addressing survivor needs and the healing process. Tony is the co-ordinator of these activities, not only in Saskatchewan but, hopefully, all across Canada.
His efforts to help survivors from residential schools to get the assistance they need is ground breaking and a grass roots movement among these survivors, facilitated by CCAA, has begun in Saskatchewan that will champion services and resources for residential school survivors everywhere. We are currently in the process of producing a book that will describe in detail the experience of residential schools in the words of our members with a clear focus not on the past, but on the future and healing. This publication will be a bridge for our First Nations members to the rest of the country.
The key to our success is Tony’s capacity to reach out directly and personally to all those who wish to participate. This means Tony needs to visit and consult with other survivors throughout the province. This cost is not part of other budgets so we need additional help.