The Saskatchewan Canadian Girls in Training (CGIT) Committee apologizes to the young women and girls who were members of CGIT during their time at a residential school in Saskatchewan. It has recently come to our attention that CGIT programming was used at various residential schools across Turtle Island. It breaks our hearts to know that the CGIT program and purpose was the cause of any hurt and trauma in the lives of Indigenous students. The foundation of CGIT is that it offers a safe space for all. To learn that this was not true is devastating to those of us currently involved in the organization. We can only imagine the hurt these young girls and women went through during their time in the residential school system. CGIT Leadership works hard to ensure that all cultures are honoured and respected, especially those of our Indigenous population. This apology is offered as a beginning step in our reconciliation process.
We will be working with our Church partners in ensuring that our leadership develop the skills to support our groups in learning about the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. Residential Schools are a horrible chapter in Canada’s history. We need to learn from this and ensure it never happens again. Addressing the “Calls to Action” means that we take the time to not only learn, but to also change things. Part of this process is understanding the history and continuing issues caused by not only the residential schools in our communities, but also the ongoing effects of colonialism.
Part of the CGIT Purpose is to “Seek Truth”. With this in mind we will work together to “Seek Truth” about Residential Schools and the part CGIT programming played in them. Working together we hope to address the harm caused in the past and to address any current practices that are harming our Indigenous members. Our goal is to ensure every CGIT group is a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. We will encourage the local groups to learn about the Indigenous cultures in their communities and develop partnerships. Through these partnerships we hope to be able to honour their culture and include Indigenous programs in our resources.
We acknowledge that in Saskatchewan, we are on treaty lands and recognize that everyone has benefits and responsibilities under these agreements. We dedicate our efforts to working together in a spirit of collaboration and reconciliation. We are all treaty people.
If any residential school survivors need help, please contact The Indian Residential School Survivors Society hotline at 1-800-721-0066 or use The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line which is available 24-hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.
For any current members who may need help now please use the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868, use their text service by texting CONNECT to 686868. Their website https://kidshelpphone.ca/get-info/first-nations-inuit-and-metis offers more information about the supports available.
CGIT . . . A Foundation for Life