YMCA Calgary's commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

At Camp Chief Hector YMCA, we gratefully acknowledge that we live, work and play on the traditional land of the Stoney Nakoda Nation, which is made up of the Goodstoney, Chiniki, and Bearspaw Bands. We are on Treaty 7 territory of southern Alberta, which is also the ancestral territory of the Blackfoot Confederacy and the T'suut'ina First Nations, Metis Nation of Alberta Region 3. 

In June 2017, The YMCA Federation in Canada’s Statement of Reconciliation was unanimously approved by all YMCAs in Canada - including YMCA Calgary - and strengthens our dedication to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and communities across Canada.

It is reflective of the YMCA Federation’s commitment to fostering a sense of belonging for all and its values of inclusiveness, accountability and collaboration.

The YMCAs in Canada have a commitment to building healthy communities through the power of belonging. Communities that are safe and vibrant, with a strong economy and a sustainable environment. Communities within a Canada that demonstrate:

  • leadership in improving the health of all people;
  • respect for diversity and pluralism;
  • combatting inequality;
  • protecting its most vulnerable; and
  • nurturing the potential of young people.

For our country to become the Canada We Want, the YMCA recognizes that we must place a special and intentional focus on Canada's relationship with Indigenous Peoples.

The YMCA movement in Canada declares its commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. We acknowledge and respect that our programs, services, and community facilities are on the traditional territory of Indigenous Peoples.

YMCAs in Canada are aware of the impact that colonial actions, including residential schools, have had on Indigenous Peoples, and we remain committed to understanding past injustices and will continue to move forward for a better future.

YMCAs in Canada are committed to playing our role in addressing the Calls to Action that have been made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, such as:

19. …. close the gaps in health outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities;

92iii. Provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal Peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.

In the spirit of this ongoing commitment, YMCA Calgary is making changes to many aspects of our offerings.

At Camp Chief Hector YMCA, this includes exploring and understanding the historical roots of our relationship with Indigenous communities in the areas we serve. Those conversations, and subsequent guidance, are ongoing, remain positive and involve intentional dialogue with Stoney Nakoda elders and community leaders and other members of the Indigenous community.

Camp Chief Hector YMCA has also evolved its programming significantly in recognition and response to Reconciliation. These changes are in the spirit of honouring the original partnership with Indigenous leaders that helped with the founding of the camp in 1930, while recognizing that we need to continue to learn and grow in our commitment to change.

This includes:

  • Adapting programming in order to eliminate any aspects of appropriation that may have evolved over time
  • Changing the name of physical assets away from historic names that may no longer be appropriate or properly contextualized in a camp environment
  • Changing ceremonial aspects of the camp experience to reflect connection to the environment and community-building, but not tying them to a sacred ceremony of any kind
  • Acknowledging the land and honouring the First People’s during ceremonies and celebrations at Camp and throughout YMCA Calgary’s calendar of events
  • Completing the KAIROS Blanket Exercise program – a “participatory history lesson developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators” – at Camp Chief Hector YMCA with staff and volunteers
  • These changes, and others happening across our Association, are reflective of the YMCA’s commitment to fostering a sense of belonging for all and its values of inclusiveness, accountability, and collaboration