Team Canada acknowledges its responsibility as a colonial organization to take an active role in learning, and unlearning about Indigenous histories on these lands, and to continue to play its role on the path to reconciliation as we move forward.
Orange Shirt Day, which was established in 2013, recognizes and raises awareness about the history and impact of the residential school system in Canada. It was inspired by the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, who had her orange shirt taken away from her in 1973 when she was sent to a residential school as a six-year-old. The date was chosen as it marks when children were taken from their homes and sent to residential schools. The timing also provides an opportunity for schools today to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the school year. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a new federal statutory holiday created in response to Call to Action #80. The day is dedicated to honouring Survivors, their families, and communities while ensuring that public commemoration of the devastating effects of residential schools remains a vital component of the ongoing reconciliation process.
Here are some resources and activities to help us learn about Canada’s history of colonization and the path towards Truth and Reconciliation:
- Visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR), an online place of learning and dialogue where the truths of Residential School Survivors, families and communities are honoured and kept safe for future generations.
- Watch the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation broadcast special on CBC September 30 at 8:00 pm ET
- Read a book
- “A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada” by Phil Fontaine and Aimée Craft
- “21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality” by Bob Joseph
- “Five Little Indians” by Michelle Good
- “Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality” by Bob Joseph
- “The Reconciliation Manifesto: Recovering the Land, Rebuilding the Economy” by Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson
- Read an article or a report
- Where are the Children? Healing the legacy of the residential schools (Aboriginal Healing Foundation and Legacy of Hope Foundation) / Where are the Children? Guérir des impacts des pensionnats indiens (Fondation autochtone de guérison et Fondation autochtone de l’espoir) »
- A history of residential schools in Canada (CBC News) / Les pensionnats autochtones en 7 questions (Radio-Canada)
- Missing and Murdered Indigenous People: The Report
- OLY story: Tom Longboat was a residential school survivor
- Listen to a podcast
- Follow Indigenous-led social media accounts