In honour of Truth and Reconciliation Week, Orange Shirt Day, and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we would like to share some resources and events to help you learn more as we reflect this week.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was declared a federal statutory holiday in 2021 and is also observed annually on September 30. This day recognizes the history and legacy of the residential school system. It honours the resilience, dignity, and strength of the survivors and intergenerational survivors, and remembers the children who never returned home. Recognizing the history and ongoing effects of residential schools is an important part of the reconciliation process. This day provides an opportunity to learn about Canada’s colonial history and how it has and continues to affect Indigenous communities. Learn more about this day at https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/national-day-truth-reconciliation.html

Orange Shirt Day is observed annually on September 30 to recognize the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Learn more about the story of Orange Shirt Day at https://orangeshirtday.org/

In May of 2021, following the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the site of a former Indian Residential School, many memorials we created across the country. These memorials consisted of hundreds of pairs of children’s shoes, representing the children who were lost in these “schools”. In Vancouver, the memorial was on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Since then, over 3,000 unmarked graves have been discovered. These tributes served an important purpose: honouring and remembering the children who died, as well as the survivors of the Residential Schools.

Organizations where you can learn more:

Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre: offering free admission September 30

Reconciliation Canada

Indian Residential School Survivors Society

Events:

September 30: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at MONOVA

September 30: Rethinking Reconciliation with Indigenous Artist Miriam Berndt and Grace Ulu

Resources and readings:

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action

Decolonization: A Resource for Indigenous Solidarity