This is an important week for Backwoods, our employees and most importantly continuing on our collective journey on why Backwoods exists. On Thursday, we had an opportunity to all witness and be part of the cultural celebration of being part of an Indigenous organization, and then today is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which for Backwoods is a recognized holiday to show respect and allow for reflection.

National Truth and Reconciliation Day recognizes and commemorates the legacy of residential schools and honours the survivors, their families, and Indigenous communities.

As we recognize National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, I ask staff to acknowledge the truth of our collective history and to reconcile the events of the past in a manner that rebuilds trust and respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. This is something we need to do every day as Backwoods employees, it is part of our journey as part of the Alexis First Nation.  Reflect on the legacy of residential schools, how they have impacted Indigenous peoples, and how we can move forward both individually and collectively on our path to reconciliation. The most impactful thing you can do is become aware and educated on the history of the Indigenous peoples. Justice Murray Sinclair, the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, stated: “education brought us here, education will help us get away from this.”

Please take the time to click on the following links and start or continue your personal journey of truth, understanding and reconciliation.

  • 94 Calls to Action published by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
  • Cultural genocide, as determined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
  • 25 residential schools, residential school research and recognition in Alberta; the effects of residential schools are real and deserve recognition and support –

if you or anyone you know has been affected by the Residential School system, please utilize the resources of the National Residential School Crisis Line:  1-866-925-4419.

Backwoods acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 territory, and respects the histories and cultures of First Nations, Métis and all First Peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our vibrant community.

The Executive team & Board of Directors of Backwoods wish all employees well in their journey of understanding and joins you and all Canadians in the necessary efforts to rebuild our country in Truth and Reconciliation, and stay true to our Journey and Purpose of “Driving economic opportunity by empowering Indigenous people and communities.”

Mike Heck
President and Chief Executive Officer