Pictured above from left: Nana Bush, Abraham Simon, and Leanna Claeys “Bear Witness” at the Training Centre.
The North West Company employees joined together on May 10 to “Bear Witness” in honour of Jordan’s Principle Day, by sending in pictures of themselves wearing a bear crown, holding teddy bears or both. “We fully support Jordan’s Principle. Nana, Leanna, and I have travelled and lived in many Indigenous communities for more than 10 years and have seen and dealt with firsthand the challenges First Nation communities face every day,” shared Abraham Simon, Director of the Training Centre, whose staff participated in Bear Witness Day.
The Training Centre has been closed to trainees and customers due to the COVID-19 restrictions. But Simon used this opportunity to address and discuss the importance of this principle for the Indigenous communities with his team.
“I have a personal connection to Norway House, where Jordan is from. I started my career with the company 35 years ago, and I lived and worked there for over three years,” he explained.
Jordan’s Principle is a child-first principle named in memory of Jordan River Anderson, a young boy from Norway House, MB. Jordan was born with multiple disabilities, and due to disputes between the federal and provincial governments about his home-based care payment, he stayed in the hospital until he passed away age of five.
Jordan’s Principle aims to make sure all First Nation children can access a wide range of social, educational, and medical services in a way that is reflective of their distinct cultural needs, without experiencing any service denials, delays or disruptions regarding their First Nation Status.
It has been 13 years since Jordan’s Principle was unanimously passed in the House of Commons, and four years since the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordered the federal government to fully implement Jordan’s Principle by May 10, 2016.