National Truth & Reconciliation Day

National Truth & Reconciliation Day

Honouring National Day for Truth & Reconciliation

(Information source from RMA Newsletter)

As a result of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which was the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history, the Government of Canada established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) to facilitate reconciliation among former residential school students, their families, their communities, and all Canadians. Between 2007 and 2015, the TRC travelled across Canada to:

  • Listen to the stories of 6,500 residential school Survivors.
  • Educate the public about the history and legacy of the residential school system.
  • Share and honour the experiences of former students and their families.

In 2015, the TRC released its final report, which includes 94 Calls to Action intended to further reconciliation between Canada and Indigenous peoples. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation responds to the TRC’s Call to Action #80 which states:

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.

As we approach September 30, there are many ways that your municipality can recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, regardless of whether your municipality has declared it a holiday. RMA has compiled some resources that members can utilize to support recognition:

  • The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation will be hosting a series of online events during their Truth and Reconciliation Week from September 27 to October 1. The programming will feature short videos created by Indigenous storytellers, followed by conversations with Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Survivors, and the children of Survivors of residential schools. All the events are accessible to the public and registration is free.
  • Review and discuss other reports that the TRC published in 2015, including:
  • RMA and AUMA have partnered to deliver workshops on Canada’s history and the municipal role in reconciliation. These workshops have been facilitated by Roy Pogorzelski who has shared the following recommended books to build awareness on issues related to reconciliation:
    • Indigenous Nationhood by Pamela Palmater
    • Reconciliation Manifesto by Arthur Manuel
    • 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph
    • How to be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
    • Clearing the Plains by James Daschuck
    • The Northwest is Our Mother by Jean Teillet
    • White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
  • Encourage your municipal staff to wearing an orange shirt on September 30.
    • Orange Shirt Day began in 2013 in Williams Lake, British Columbia to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of Survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation.