September 30, 2022, marks the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The day was established in 2021 in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 80th call to action:
“We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
Here are five ways you can mark the day and deepen your understanding of truth and reconciliation.
1. Read an educational resource/memoir
- A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada | Phil Fontaine, Aimée Craft and the TRC
- They Came for the Children: Canada, Aboriginal Peoples, and Residential Schools
- The Survivors Speak: A Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
- Where are the children?
- Theodore Fontaine, Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools: A Memoir (2010)
- Bev Sellars, They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School (2012)
- Edmund Metatawabin with Alexandra Shimo, Up Ghost River: A Chief’s Journey Through the Turbulent Waters of Native History (2015)
- Joseph Auguste (Augie) Merasty, The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir (2015/2017)
- Isabelle Knockwood, Out of the Depths: The Experiences of Mi’kmaw Children at the Indian Residential School at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia (1992/2015)
- Stolen Children | Residential School Survivors Speak Out
- Kamloops Residential School Survivors Recall Students Going Missing, Digging Of Graves In Orchard
- “The Stranger” Official Video – Gord Downie – Secret Path
- Gem CBC – Truth And Reconciliation Collection
- CBC News Special: National Day For Truth And Reconciliation Friday, September 30 At 12:30 P.M. ET On CBC, CBC Gem, CBC News Network, Cbcnews.Ca And The CBC News App
- A Day to Listen: Amplifying Indigenous Voices
- Panel Discussion: Indigenous Perspectives on the Pope’s Apology September 30 at 1 p.m. ET
- Remembering the Children: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Friday, September 30 at 1 p.m. (2 AT/ 2:30 NT) on CBC Radio One and CBC Listen
- Telling Our Twisted Histories. Words connect us. Words hurt us. Indigenous histories have been twisted by centuries of colonization. Host Kaniehti:io Horn brings us together to decolonize our minds– one word, one concept, one story at a time.
- Unreserved is the radio space for Indigenous community, culture, and conversation. Host Rosanna Deerchild takes you straight into Indigenous Canada, from Halifax to Haida Gwaii, from Shamattawa to Ottawa, introducing listeners to the storytellers, culture makers and community shakers from across the country.
- 2 Crees in a Pod explores a deep conversation about Indigenous knowledge and how this way of life and learning is critical for Indigenous people today.
- A Tribe Called Geek is a nerd-culture podcast that prides itself on its “Indigenerdity.” The ATCG website covers everything from comics, STEM, cosplaying, art, entertainment and more.
4. Wear an orange shirt
- When she was six, Phyllis (Jack) Webstad had a brand new orange shirt for her first day of school, bought for her by her grandmother. When she arrived at residential school, she was stripped and her clothes were taken away, including her orange shirt. The shirt was never returned. To Phyllis, the colour orange was a reminder of her residential school experiences: “how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared.” Learn more about her story.
5. Attend an event in your city
Here are some of the events scheduled for Orange Shirt Day, the second annual Day of Truth and Reconciliation:
Organizers say they hope to make the walk, protesting the parkway’s name, an annual event until Macdonald’s name is removed from the parkway.
Remember Me: A National Day of Remembrance, hosted by the Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada is hosting, begins at 8:30 a.m. on Parliament Hill with a welcoming ceremony and round dance with Akwesasne’s Native North American Traveling College. An opening ceremony follows at 10 a.m., and events will continue all morning.
Mamawi Together Survivors Gathering is a multifaceted event series aimed at bringing communities together during Truth and Reconciliation Week.
Hear the testimonies of survivors from Ottawa, Quebec and Northern Canada, take part in cultural and traditional celebrations and honour those affected by the residential school system.
For more information, visit their website.
The Peace Tower on Parliament Hill will also be illuminated in orange from 7 p.m. on Friday to sunrise on Oct. 1.