National Truth and Reconciation Day

by Sep 30, 2021

Truth and Reconciliation

September 30

Today is Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation — an annual commemoration honouring the children who died while attending residential schools and the survivors, families and communities still affected by the legacy of the residential school system. 

quote image "We shuld never forget... It's part of ho e are as a nation.  And this nation must never forget what it once did to its most vulnerable people" Senator Murray Sinclair

Make it Count

The David Suzuki Foundation shared these calls for action towards truth and reconciliation


Today is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Here are ways you can make it count

On this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we’re all invited to pause and share a moment of silence and reflection, in honour of the thousands of children who died at the hands of Canada’s residential school system.

We also invite you to act. Today can’t be marked by silence alone. Too much needs to be done to right the wrongs of this nation’s past and present.

There are many ways you can support Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Here are six. But you can also explore your own path in whatever meaningful way you choose.

  1. Lift the burden of education off the shoulders of Indigenous Peoples. Visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to get started or sign up for the free online course on Indigenous Canada at the University of Alberta.
  2. Wear an orange shirt. In recognition of the harm the residential school system did to Indigenous children, their self-esteem and well-being, wear an orange shirt and engage in conversations with anyone who asks why. Read the history of the orange shirt here.
  3. Donate one day’s pay. We’re all invited to give one day’s pay – or the amount of our choice – to Indigenous-led projects, movements, organizations and nations. Learn about the movement here.
  4. Download the “Guide to Deeper Engagement.” A project of the Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples of Canada, this guide is a conversation-starter, offering questions for internal reflections and research about the places and Indigenous Peoples where you live. Download the guide here.
  5. Attend an in-person event. Showing up matters. Throughout Canada, community events are happening to mark the day. Check your local newspapers or social media to find an event close to you. (Please keep safe and follow COVID-19 protocols, though.)
  6. Learn more about the Land Back movement. There can be no reconciliation without a system of land governance that respects Indigenous Rights. Learn more and watch our video series on the past, present and future of land governance in Canada.

This country can do better for Indigenous Peoples. It must do better. We hope you will join us at the David Suzuki Foundation in honouring today.

Learn More

Visit my post We Were Children for more resources to learn about the legacy of the Residential School program and support reconciliation.

Take a course. Here are two that are FREE and online.

Indigenous Canada, from the University of Alberta Faculty of Native Studies.

Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education from the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia

Advocate for the TRC 94 Calls for Action

What can you do?

If you are in Canada, I invite you to take the opportunity today to watch or join special events or presentations designed to expand knowledge of the Indigenous experience and the way to healing the injustices of the past.  Even if you are not in Canada, please consider learning more about the history of the Indigenous peoples in your area. 

I’m wearing my orange shirt today and this afternoon I will be attending an online panel discussion.  I am also starting an online class to learn more about this history that we did not learn in school.  What will you do to expand your knowledge today?


Image text Every Child Matters / Orange Shirt Day
Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Educator, Artist, Storyteller


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