Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Call to Action #80

Written by Lorna Andrews, Teaching and Learning Specialist, Indigenization / Video produced by Katherine Kohler, TLC Learning Designer

“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.”

On September 30th, 2021, the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday was commemorated. Formerly, September 30th marked “Orange Shirt Day” and has gained a huge increase in support from Indigenous and settlers when the 215 Indigenous children were located at the Kamloops Residential School in May.

Throughout the week of September 27th, including September 30th, many of us honored survivors, the children who didn’t make it home, and took time to reflect on the history and legacy of residential schools. We participated in person or online to show our support to Indigenous peoples across turtle island.

As a first generational survivor, Orange Shirt Day is everyday. My family has survived the atrocities and legacies left by Residential Schools but live the intergenerational affects daily. I see it in my mom, me, my children, and grandchildren. We, like a lot of Indigenous Peoples, are working hard to break that cycle. You can help by keeping the spirit and actions of truth and reconciliation going. As we continue to move forward, it is important to reflect, learn, and be agents for social change throughout the year. I encourage you to continue your learning about Residential schools, colonial history, and the impacts it has on Indigenous peoples. The continued support and action of our settlers is very important, and I thank you for walking beside us.

VIDEO: A Reflection on the impact of residential schools