In response to Call to Action #80 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the House of Commons unanimously passed legislation to make September 30th the annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to commemorate the history and ongoing trauma caused by residential schools and to honour the survivors, families and communities who continue to grieve for those who were lost.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was also created in response to the recent discovery of 215 unmarked graves at a former Residential School near Kamloops, BC and subsequent discoveries. To date, more than 1,000 unmarked children’s graves and remains have been identified at former Residential Schools in Canada. The discovery of these graves has brought the issue of Truth and Reconciliation back into sharp focus and shaken many Canadians with the undeniable truth of the tragedy of the sexual, physical and emotional abuse more than 150,000 Indigenous children were subjected to at these schools.
September 30th was chosen given the historical significance of the date as a time each year when Indigenous children were forcibly apprehended from their parents and home communities and placed in the residential school system. As we now know, thousands of children did not make it home.
The day is intended to provide Canadians from all walks of life time to reflect on the dark legacy of Residential Schools and the devastating trauma and suffering they continue to inflict on generations of Indigenous families, as well as to consider how each one of us can actively contribute to reconciliation in our country.
As our staff takes time for reflection and to honour survivors, their families, and communities, AFM community offices throughout the province will be closed on Sept. 30. As well, the Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine (RAAM) clinics at the River Point Centre in Winnipeg and Eaglewood in Thompson will be closed Sept. 30 but will reopen to clients on Oct. 1.
We also invite the public to learn more about Truth & Reconciliation in other tangible ways and are pleased to share a selection of links, articles and resources to help us all learn more about the legacy of Residential Schools and how we can join with our Indigenous community and continue to work towards reconciliation.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day Resources
- Take a Personal Pledge of Reconciliation and encourage others to take it as well.
- Learn the history of the land you live on, or the closest residential schools
- History of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation)
- Truth and Reconciliation Week Events for Educators and the General Public (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation)-Events for Educators-Events for the General Public
- The Spirit Panel Project – Hope is the Message (Canadian Museum for Human Rights)
- The Seven Sacred Laws – Turtle Lodge
- Indigenous Canada Online Courses (University of Alberta Faculty of Native Studies)
- A history of residential schools in Canada (CBC News)
- Indigenous Ally Toolkit (Montreal Indigenous Community Network)
- Indigenous history in Canada (Government of Canada)
- Whose Land Is It Anyway? A Manual For Decolonization (Peter McFarlane and Nicole
Books from the AFM Library
- Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story (David Robertson; Steven Keewatin Sanderson; Scott B. Henderson)
- Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools: A Memoir (Theodore Fontaine)
- Fifteen Stories of Truth and Reconciliation (Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail)
- They Called Me Number One – Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School (Bev Sellars)
- Inconvenient Indian (Thomas King)
- Finding My Talk: How 14 Native Women Reclaimed their Lives After Residential Schools (Agnes Grant)
Films and videos to watch:
Please note: There is a cost related to watching this content
- Angry Inuk (CBC Gem)
- Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (CBC Gem)
- Ted Talk: Canada’s State of Emergency by Pamela Palmater (free on YouTube)
- Indigenous Made Film Catalogue (Reel Canada)
- Maina (CBC Gem)
- Mohawk Girls (CBC Gem)
- nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up (free from the National Film Board of Canada)
- Rhymes for Young Ghouls (CBC Gem)
- RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World (Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and Vudu)
- The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (CBC Gem)
- The Lesser Blessed (CBC Gem)
- Uvanga (CBC Gem)
- Residential Schools in Canda: A Timeline (Historica Canada)
- Namwayut: we are all one. Truth and reconciliation in Canada (CBC)