The federal government recently passed legislation to make September 30 a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Formerly known as Orange Shirt Day, this day provides an opportunity to reflect on the tragic history of residential schools and honour the lost Indigenous children, residential school survivors, and all the lives and communities affected by the Indian residential school system in Canada.
Since this is the first time in history that we have had a day dedicated to truth and reconciliation, many organizations are looking for meaningful ways to give back to Indigenous Peoples in our communities.
Here is how Eligeo is honouring Indigenous Peoples in Canada:
- Education is a big part of reconciliation, and so we are using this day to learn the truth about what happened by viewing “Beyond Orange Shirt Day” video together, on September 30th at 11:30 AM ET / 8:30 AM PT.
- We have also updated our website to include the names of local Indigenous territories upon which our offices are located.
Here are some resources and ways you can engage in reconciliation activities within your community:
- Explore National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s YouTube Channel.
- The Government of Canada has also put together the Indigenous Learning Series a compilation of resources, courses, workshops, and events on the history, heritage, cultures, rights, and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
- Support the work of Indigenous artisans and their traditional craft, such as quilling on birch bark and basket weaving.
- Make a donation of time or money to organizations that help Indigenous Peoples in your community (see a list of organizations below).
- Support businesses owned by Indigenous Peoples or organizations that support such businesses.
- Tune in to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s Every Child Matters webinar on September 30 or listen to the stories of residential school Survivors from A Day to Listen.
- Wear orange clothing to show your support for Indigenous communities.
- Host a reconciliACTION, a meaningful action that moves reconciliation forward and aims to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together in the spirit of reconciliation to create awareness, share, and learn.
Here are a few Canadian organizations that support Indigenous Peoples to follow:
- AFOA Canada
- Canadian Roots Exchange
- First Nations Child & Family Caring Society
- Indigenous Services Canada
- Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
- Legacy of Hope Foundation
- National Association of Friendship Centres
- Native Womens’ Association of Canada
- Reconciliation Canada
- True North Aid
While there is a long road ahead, we hope you find some of the ideas and resources listed in this blog post helpful. Let’s work together in coming closer to the truth of what happened and reconciliation with the Indigenous communities in Canada.