The Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF) was established in March 1998, for a ten-year period, to manage the distribution of a one-time $350 million grant from the Government of Canada to support community-based healing projects that addressed the legacy of physical and sexual abuse at residential schools. This healing fund was a component of Gathering Strength: Canada’s Aboriginal Action Plan.
Recognizing that the ongoing healing from residential schools would be needed well-after its ten-year mandate had expired, the Board of Directors of the AHF discussed ways to continue supporting holistic and community-based healing projects. It was decided that the creation of a national charity was the best way to achieve this goal. As a result, the Aboriginal Healing Charitable Association was established in July 2000. In 2001, the name of the organization was changed to the Legacy of Hope Foundation.
The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) is a national Aboriginal charitable organization whose purposes are to educate, raise awareness and understanding of the legacy of residential schools, including the effects and intergenerational impacts on First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, and to support the ongoing healing process of Residential School Survivors. Fulfilling this mandate contributes towards reconciliation among generations of Aboriginal peoples, and between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada.
The LHF fulfills this mandate by: working in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, communities and organizations across Canada; and undertaking communications, research and policy activities that support the development and implementation of our educational programming. All of these activities are informed by the experiences and stories of Residential Schools Survivors, their families and communities.
Our work is guided by ethical guidelines and principles for working with Survivors and Aboriginal communities. These ethical guidelines are based on: 1) a deep concern and compassion for, and honouring of, Survivors, their families and communities; and 2) a clear understanding of the need for and importance of the oral tradition of Aboriginal peoples. We take as our fundamental guiding principle that the work of the LHF must contribute to the health, safety, well-being and healing Survivors, their families and communities, and towards promoting reconciliation in Canada.
We are happy to announce that the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF) will increase its participation in the work of the Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) effective April 2012. Recently, resolutions were passed by the Board of Directors of both organizations to create an AHF Legacy Projects Division – this division will continue LHF’s work and will be staffed with LHF operational personnel. With this closer partnership, the AHF and LHF together look forward to continuing to support Survivors and raising awareness of the impacts of residential schools.