September 30th, 2021 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, honouring the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people of Canada. We honour those who survived the Residential Schools, those who did not return home, and those who continue to suffer as a result of intergenerational trauma. Granville Island will be demonstrating our commitment to reconciliation by honouring our Indigenous Peoples by observing a moment of silence at 2:15 pm in recognition of the 215 children whose bodies were uncovered in an unmarked grave on the grounds of the former Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia. The lights, in the shape of a heartbeat, on the Arts & Innovation Hub (former Emily Carr School) have been turned orange, and our usual outdoor advertising spaces have been covered by orange art posters, in recognition of “Every Child Matters” Orange Shirt Day.
The objective of this new day of observance is to encourage Canadians to take time to learn more about Reconciliation, and to reflect on the real histories and ongoing impacts of colonization, the effects of which continue to be felt today. It is an opportunity to commemorate the survivors, their families, and their communities.
What you can do:
Attend on September 30th
Orange Shirt Day-Every Child Matters 9:00am assemble outside of the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre (1607 E Hastings St) and walk to Grandview Park where there will be a ceremony and activities (lunch, drum circle, crafting and sharing) until 2:00pm
Intergenerational March to commemorate Orange Shirt Day 11:45am – 2:00pm organized through UBC Land & Food Systems.
94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In a summary report released earlier this year, the commission published 94 “calls to action” urging all levels of government — federal, provincial, territorial and aboriginal — to work together to change policies and programs in a concerted effort to repair the harm caused by residential schools and move forward with reconciliation. The act of reading these recommendations is an important step toward reconciliation. And taking it one step further to figure out ways to actively engage with the calls to action.
Summary of the Indian Act: A brief, plain language explanation of an act which is still in effect today in spite of its initial objective of control and assimilation, to “continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic, and there is no Indian question, and no Indian department.” Say what??
Orange Shirt Day Book, Phyllis Webstad
Fatty Legs: A True Story, Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada, Chelsea Vowel
They Came for the Children: Canada, Aboriginal Peoples, and Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada staff: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada published this history as a part of its mandate to educate the Canadian public about residential schools and their place in Canadian history.
From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way, Jesse Thistle
Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimerer
21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, Bob Joseph
The Inconvenient Indian, Thomas King
We encourage everyone to watch/listen to this short interview with former senator and chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Murray Sinclair.
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation also has a week of speakers from across turtle island, all accessible for free on their Youtube channel.
How to watch and listen to National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on CBC | CBC Arts
Savage, Lisa Jackson, Director
Indian Horse, Based on the award-winning novel by Richard Wagamese
The dark history of Canada’s Food Guide: How experiments on Indigenous children shaped nutrition policy | CBC Radio
Media Indigena: a weekly podcast by Indigenous producers on a variety of Canadian news topics
The Secret Life of Canada podcast: “a history podcast about the country you know and the stories you don’t.”
Metis in Space, What happens when two Métis women, who happen to be sci-fi nerds, drink wine and deconstruct the science fiction genre from a decolonial lens? Molly Swain & Chelsea Vowel break down tropes, themes & the hidden meanings behind the whitest genre of film & television we’ve ever known.
Orange Shirt Day Book, Phyllis Webstad
Take the Indigenous Canada Online U of A Course.Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations.
How to properly acknowledge the land we live on.
Donate directly to The Indian Residential School Survivors Society. The Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS) is a provincial organization with a twenty-year history of providing services to Indian Residential School Survivors. They strive to provide physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual growth, development, and healing through culturally-based values and guiding principles for Survivors, Families, and Communities.