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How you can take part in the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Sept. 30, also known as Orange Shirt Day, was recently declared a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

As a non-Indigenous organization working on Indigenous territories, LWF recognizes the importance of taking this day to learn about and reflect on Canada’s dark colonial history, and to listen and acknowledge the truths and devastating impacts that Indian Residential Schools had and continue to have on First Nations, Métis and Inuit children and communities.

Reconciliation cannot happen without meaningful dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and meaningful dialogue cannot happen without truth, awareness and empathy.

We invite you to join us with open hearts and minds, and take part in this day of remembrance, learning, reflection and action.

Here are some suggestions for local learning opportunities:

  • Truth and Reconciliation Week, Sept. 27 - Oct.1 online: a free virtual event hosted by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR): Open to all Canadian schools (Grades 5 to 12) and the general public, programming includes: discussions on truths of the Indigenous treaties; First Nations, Métis and Inuit land claims; and residential school systems; as well as historical workshops, videos and other activities - all supported by artistic and cultural performances by First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists.
  • Orange Shirt Days @ the Manitoba Museum, Sep. 30 to Oct. 3, hosted by the Manitoba Museum in partnership with NCTR: With free admission from Sep. 30 to Oct. 3, special programming including pop-up exhibits, videos and self-guided digital tours offer education about the history and legacy of residential schools.
  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Survivor Stories and Panel Discussion, Sept. 30, 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., in person and online, hosted by the Winnipeg Art Gallery: Open to the public and free to self-identifying Indigenous peoples (general admission to be donated to NCTR), this event includes screening and live Q&As, plus a free Zoom webinar panel at 12:45 p.m.

Other ways to commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:

  • Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action: Published in 2015, this report puts forth 94 calls to action to redress the legacy of residential schools and begin the process of reconciliation in Canada. (Establishing a federal statutory holiday for truth and reconciliation is Call to Action 80.) As you read, consider what actions can you implement in your home, workplace and community. Share your thoughts with your family, friends and colleagues.
  • Read books by Indigenous authors: Our suggestions include Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis, & Inuit Issues in Canada by Chelsea Vowel; Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese; and 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph.
  • Learn whose land you live on: the website native-land.ca is a good starting point.

A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and others affected by residential schools. You can access 24/7 crisis support and referral services by calling: 1-866-925-4419.

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