OMNI is grieving with Canadians over recent tragedies

Two incidents making national and international headlines serve as reminders of both a dark part of Canada’s past as well as intolerance that, unfortunately, continues to plague the fringes of our society today.

In late May, it was reported that the separate graves of 215 children – some as young as 3 – were discovered by ground-penetrating radar at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C.

While this discovery sent shockwaves across the country, it also highlighted in bold print the mistreatment the people of Canada’s First Nations faced during the era of the residential school system.

It’s also a reminder that we still have a long way to go on the road to reconciliation.

This past Sunday, members of a Muslim family in London, Ont. were victims of a hit-and-run incident police are describing as a “premeditated” attack motivated by Islamophobia.

Four family members, aged 15 to 74, were killed as a result of this attack. A fifth victim, a 9-year-old boy, is recovering in hospital.

Canadians from coast to coast and representatives from all levels of government in every corner of the country have expressed their sorrow and dismay in the wake of these tragedies.

OMNI Health Care is proud to be a large family made up of residents and staff members living and working in our 18 homes who hail from all walks of life, cultures and faiths.

We value the contributions of people from rich, diverse cultures and backgrounds who make us stronger as an organization and as Canadians.

It goes without saying incidents like these impact us greatly.

These events have shone a light on the terrible consequences of racism in our society, whether systemic in nature or expressed overtly in words, actions or deeds.

But we also need to understand that intolerance and discrimination have always existed in our country, with particular impact on Indigenous Peoples, persons of colour and the Islamic communities.

It is important to speak of the terrible pain experienced then and now by First Nations communities torn apart by the racism and violence of the residential school system, and to express our sorrow and our support to the Islamic community affected directly by the violent act in London.

It is important to acknowledge and to speak out against all forms of racism that exist in our society, in the workplace, in our homes, in our communities and our institutions.

OMNI shares the grief and pain being felt across Canada and by the families and friends of the victims of these tragedies.