Our October Non-Profit - Indian Residential School Survivor Society

Trigger Warning: Abuse, Residential Schools, Violence, Sexual Assault

Historical Background:

From 1831 to 1997, over 150,000 Indigenous children, as young as three years-old, were taken from their families and placed into the Residential School System.This was a network of schools, Christian churches, and levels of the Canadian government with the sole purpose of 'Killing the Indian in the child.' These children were not allowed to speak their own language or practice their culture. In 1920, it was made illegal for Indigenous children to not attend Residential Schools. At these schools, the children were neglected, malnourished, and experienced daily sexual, mental, emotional, and physical abuse. The mortality rate was between 40 - 60%. The Survivors of Residential Schools and the generations of their descendants are affected by the same systemic attempts of Government-sponsored genocide during the Sixties Scoop.

        Blackbird Fabrics donates 1% of our revenue each month to a rotating non-profit. With the help of recommendations from our team members, friends & family, and our customers, we choose non-profits that support causes that are important to us and our community. You can find a full list of organizations that we have supported here!

Our non-profit for October is Indian Residential School Survivor Society.

(Image courtesy of IRSS)

        Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS) is a non-profit organization supporting Survivors of Residential Schools, since 1994. Through culturally-based values and guiding principles, their mission is to provide emotional, spiritual,  physical, and intellectual growth, development, and healing to the Survivors (including their families, and communities) of Residential Schools. Additionally, they provide essential services such as litigation pertaining to Residential School abuses as well as counselling to those dealing with intergenerational trauma.

(Image courtesy of IRSS)

        Cultural support is another essential program offered by IRSSS with cultural & spiritual gatherings and ceremonies led by a team of seventeen elders. The Elders Cultural Support Team guides and supports communities in healing and reconciliation with workshops and ceremonies on smudging, language, sweat lodges, and more. Using cultural approaches for healing, such as traditional medicines and therapy, they help to reconnect Survivors and intergenerational Survivors with their Indigenous culture.

(Image courtesy of IRSS)

        Despite the lasting harm and trauma from the Government of Canada’s genocidal actions, there is still a significant lack of resources for Survivors and intergenerational Survivors of Residential Schools. Expanding resources and support is essential for supporting Survivors and advocating for justice and healing. We encourage you to donate to IRSSS or learn more about their organization and work they do on their website here

 

We would like to extend our gratitude and thanks to the Indian Residential School Survivor Society for all the work that they do. 

2 comments

Hi Marie-Claude,

Thank you so much for sharing your idea with us, we will definitely keep it in mind for next year!

Blackbird Fabrics October 20, 2021

Thank you for bringing this subject to our attention and spread the word about the important work that this charity does.
On Sept 30th, we celebrated the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. As a suggestion for next year, it would be nice if Blackbird fabrics could curate a collection of orange fabrics so that we could proudly wear this colour in support of this community, and share profits with this organization as well. I would gladly pay extra for such a cause.

Marie-Claude Crevier October 14, 2021

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