National Truth & Reconciliation Day – A conversation with Jade Fletcher

We had the opportunity to chat with Jade Fletcher, a lawyer, local soccer player, and member of the National Indigenous Women’s Soccer team in Canada.

ATO: Hello Jade. Before we start, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

JF: I am a Métis woman from Red River, Manitoba. I currently work as a Family law Lawyer, however soon transferring back to my previous position tackling the over representation of Indigenous Peoples in Canadian jails and prisons.

ATO: With Sept 30 being the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Day, what does that mean to you?

JF: What the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Day means to me is a day of ceremony, however an opportunity for Canadian representatives and individuals who reside on Indigenous territory (everyone) to do more. The way numerous Canadian systems repeatedly operate continue to further perpetuate trauma on Indigenous Peoples. There are brilliant resources that have been available to assist in changing these systems such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report and Calls to Action, National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Final Report, National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy, Qikiqtani Truth Commission Final Report: Achieving Saimaqatiqiigniq, among others. I encourage everyone to use these resources in your advocacy, your writing, your conversations with others because they are so useful and significant. Also for those podcast lovers, listen to the Trauma-Informed Lawyer podcast hosted by Myrna McCallum. Myrna does a brilliant job at breaking down the systems ALL of us operate in and providing much needed education about becoming Trauma-informed, cultural humility, vicarious trauma, resilience and Indigenous intergenerational traumaIMG_8366

ATO: How can fans of the beautiful game and Atletico Ottawa support National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, while also recognizing the ongoing efforts needed everyday?

JF: The best way to support is to sincerely listen and learn from the Indigenous Peoples with lived experience. They are the experts. There are many ceremonies and events taking place in Ottawa on this day that openly welcome everyone’s attendance.

ATO: HERE are some links to Ottawa events both in-person and digital to help mark the 1st National Day for Truth & Reconciliation

ATO: Can you share some Indigenous organizations that our fans should be aware of and try to support?

JF: Sure here are some. These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head 🙂

  • The Native Indian Football Association (NIFA) promotes a holistic approach addressing mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well being of players as they strive for their potential.
  • The Ontario Native Women’s Association has an office here in Ottawa. They focus on empowering Indigenous women throughout Ontario to be leaders in their homes and in their communities.
  • Minwaashin Lodge -provides a range of programs and services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and children (regardless of status) who are survivors of domestic and other forms of violence, and who may also be suffering the effects of the residential school system.
  • Odawa – A non-profit organization providing services to Ottawa’s Indigenous Community
  • Wabano – Wabano was created by Indigenous people for Indigenous people, bringing the knowledge of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people and cultures into one beautiful space – a Centre For Excellence.
  • Tungasuvvingat Inuit – an Inuit-specific urban services provider that offers community support for Inuit of all ages.
  • Tewegan Transition House – an Ottawa-based transitional home for First Nations, Inuit and Métis women

ATO: Thank you for your time Jade. We, and our fans, thank you for sharing and educating.

Action from the National Indigenous Women’s Soccer team.