Every day is a good day to be Indigenous, and this fall, CICR has had several opportunities to take part in celebrating the resiliency and strength of Indigenous Peoples and communities. On September 30, 2021, local Haudenosaunee Peoples organized around Orange Shirt Day, which was created to acknowledge, remember and express intense grief for the Indigenous children who were taken from our communities and forced into boarding schools operated by both the U.S, Federal government and the Canadian government. Although residential boarding schools greatly impacted our communities, they did not stop us from speaking our languages and performing our songs and dances. A morning walk created space for relatives to remember the children who died while in custody of the governments, as well as the children that came home forever changed.
During this time, we acknowledge the importance of First Nations of this continent, and their influence on history, politics, music and art.
To continue raising visibility of Indigenous communities, the Center for Indigenous Cancer Research and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day on October 11. Our teams brought together Roswell Park CEO Dr. Candace Johnson, CICR Director Dr. Rodney Haring, New York State Assembly member Crystal Peoples-Stokes, and Haudenosaunee singer, Randy Greene to offer an “Honor Song” as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Belt flag was raised by Haudenosaunee Veteran Rodney Keyes in Kaminski Park. This small COVID-safe gathering on Roswell Park’s campus helped bring diverse leaders together with good minds to continue honoring and serving Indigenous Peoples through our individual and collective efforts.