Healing through Song and Drum: Black Diamond Group Commemorates National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
October 16, 2023
On September 30, Black Diamond Group commemorated National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with a poignant lunch-hour presentation centered around "Healing Through Song and Drum." This event was led by honoured guest Spike Eagle Speaker Jr., who graciously shared his memories and experiences related to the day, offering invaluable insights into the profound healing power of cultural expression.
Spike Eagle Speaker Jr.
Spike Eagle Speaker Jr. is an accomplished singer, drummer, dancer and a prominent figure in the world of Indigenous arts and culture. Hailing from the Siksika Nation, he has received numerous internationally recognized awards for his contributions to preserving and promoting Indigenous traditions. Currently, Spike is a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy, a renowned singing group that carries forward the rich heritage of the Blackfoot people.
Throughout the session, Spike regaled the audience with recollections of his formative years, describing the memories of drumming circles, dances, and songs that have been a part of his life since he can remember. These early experiences laid the foundation for his deep connection to his culture, and they continue to inspire his work as a cultural ambassador.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation holds a profound significance in the Canadian calendar.
It is a day to reflect upon the history and legacy of the residential school system and the cultural trauma it inflicted upon Indigenous communities. It is also a day to honour the survivors, the victims, reflect on the lasting impacts, and recognize the ongoing journey toward Truth and Reconciliation and the 94 calls to action.
Spike Eagle Speaker Jr. shared his personal reflections on this day, emphasizing the importance of recognizing and acknowledging the painful truths of the past. He noted that "healing through song and drum" is a path to reconciliation, a way to bridge the divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.
"Our commitment to initiatives centered around healing, truth, and reconciliation is not just a choice; it's an obligation for responsible corporate citizenship. By participating, we acknowledge our shared history and ensure a more inclusive, compassionate, and equitable future for all."
– Jonathan Stringer, VP, WFS Operations & Indigenous Partnerships
The Path Forward
We understand the significance of initiatives like National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and their vital role in the journey towards truth and reconciliation. We encourage our team members, partners, and stakeholders to take time for reflection and education about the history and lasting impact of residential schools.
Honouring this day isn't just about words; it's about actions. It's about advocating for change, supporting Indigenous communities, and working towards a more just and inclusive society. It’s about asking – what can we do better? Together, let us commit to building a future where Truth and Reconciliation are at the forefront of our actions.
At Black Diamond, we are committed to fostering and maintaining meaningful partnerships with the Indigenous communities where we live, work and play. The Company strongly believes in Indigenous inclusion and demonstrates this through community activities and our business policies and procedures. This support goes beyond just that of our business practices, and our collective commitment extends to the Calls of Action through Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including amplifying initiatives such as Red Dress Day.