Indigenous Disability Awareness Month (IDAM) Media Release

The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) proclaims Indigenous Disability Awareness Month, and commits to working together with the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) and other groups across Canada towards a more inclusive, equitable, and accessible country for all. NEADS recognizes the importance of Indigenous-led supports and programs, particularly concerning those with disabilities. NEADS also recognizes that as a primarily settler-led organization, we have a responsibility towards truth and reconciliation, and ensuring that our programming recognizes the intersectional identities that are foundational to the disability community. We have asked our staff and directors to create personal and original land acknowledgements that reflect on their positionality within oppressive and colonial structures and their personal commitments towards truth and reconciliation, while remembering that land acknowledgements are only a very small fraction of the work we must do.

Learn more about Indigenous Disability Awareness Month and the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society: 

Read our official proclamation of Indigenous Disability Awareness Month, with template courtesy of BCANDS

WHEREAS Indigenous peoples living with disabilities often face unique barriers that impact their ability to fully participate in the social and economic opportunities available in our communities. And

WHEREAS we are committed to the ideal of an inclusive society based on respect and understanding, where Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) living with disabilities and the significant contributions they provide to our communities, organizations, provinces., territories and country are recognized, celebrated, and valued. And

WHEREAS we are committed to upholding and safeguarding the principles outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), including full and effective participation and inclusion in society, equality of opportunity, and the United Nations CRPD International Committee’s recommendation to Canada to proclaim and recognize November each year as Indigenous Disability Awareness Month. And

WHEREAS we wish to recognize and support the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society’s creation of Indigenous Disability Awareness Month (IDAM) and join governments, urban and rural Indigenous communities, disability organizations, individuals living with disabilities and their families, from across the country, in recognizing and celebrating these diverse and vital members of our communities.

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that we, the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) do hereby proclaim and declare annually the month of November as Indigenous Disability Month. Dated this 5th day of November, 2021, and signed by Frank Smith, National Coordinator of NEADS.

Carly Fox (she/her/elle), Researcher and Communications Officer, National Educational Association of Disabled Students,

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