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Ways to Honour National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 29, 2021

September 30, 2021 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process. Below are some ways to spend National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Wear Orange
Both the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day take place on September 30. Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours the children who survived Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not.
This day relates to the experience of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, on her first day of school, where she arrived dressed in a new orange shirt, which was taken from her. It is now a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
On September 30, all Canadians are encouraged to wear orange to raise awareness of the very tragic legacy of residential schools, and to honour the thousands of Survivors.
Hear Phyllis Webstad share her experiences and the origination of Orange Shirt Day in Canada. She discusses the present situation and her hopes for the future.

In order to remedy the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) made 94 calls to action. Click here to read them.
The TRC spent six years travelling to all parts of Canada and heard from more than 6,500 witnesses. The TRC also hosted seven national events across Canada to engage the Canadian public, educate people about the history and legacy of the residential schools system, and share and honour the experiences of former students and their families.
The TRC created a historical record of the residential schools system. As part of this process, the Government of Canada provided over five million records to the TRC. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba now houses all of the documents collected by the TRC.
In June 2015, the TRC held its closing event in Ottawa and presented the executive summary of the findings contained in its multi-volume final report, including 94 “calls to action” (or recommendations) to further reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous peoples.
In December 2015, the TRC released its entire six-volume final report. All Canadians are encouraged to read the summary or the final report to learn more about the terrible history of Indian Residential Schools and its sad legacy.
Territory land acknowledgements are one small part of disrupting and dismantling colonial structures. Learn what traditional lands you live or work on, and the Nations who have called it home. Visit native-land.ca and start by entering your address, or by mousing or clicking around on the map to see the relevant territories in a location.
Once you click, a number of links will appear with different nation names. By clicking on those links, you will be taken to a page specifically about that nation, language, or treaty, where you can view some sources, and learn a little more.
The Winnipeg Public Library has books and online resources to help learn more about Canada’s Indian Residential Schools System. 
Wa-Say Healing Centre Inc. will be hosting a Pow Wow to recognize Orange Shirt Day and to Honour the 60s Scoop, Indian Residential School, Indian Day School Survivors & MMIW. Learn more.

  • Thursday, September 30, 2021
  • Pipe Ceremony & Lighting the Sacred Fire | 12:00 PM
  • Grand Entry | 1:00 PM

Join for a Healing Walk in honour of Indian Residential Schools, Day Schools, and the Sixties Scoop Survivors and our families. Walk to St. John’s Park where a Welcome Home Pow-wow is being held by Wa-Say Healing Centre. Rattles, Drummers, and Dancers welcome; public health orders must be observed. Learn more.

  • Saturday, September 30, 2021 | Starts 11:00 AM
  • Canadian Museum for Human Rights, 85 Israel Asper Way, Winnipeg

In honour of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, WAG-Qaumajuq in partnership with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, will be hosting a day of survivor stories and a panel discussion. Panelists include Dr. Sean Carleton, Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, Elder Betty Ross, and Marlene Gallagher. Learn more.

  • Thursday, September 30, 2021 | 11:30 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Boulevard, Winnipeg

You can visit art galleries to learn more about indigenous peoples’ way of life, their art and culture.

  • Inuk Style: Inuk Style presents a dynamic range of clothing items spanning the Western to the Eastern regions of the Canadian Arctic. @ Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Blvd. Winnipeg
  • Virtual Art Tours at Quamajuq: Book a 60-minute virtual tour of the art on display at Qaumajuq, the world’s first Inuit Art Centre. Join one of the experienced art educators to explore the collection or feature exhibitions and enjoy lively conversations around the art.
  • INUA Virtual Experience: INUA brings together more than 90 Inuit artists from across the Arctic, urban south, and circumpolar communities and is curated by a team representing all four regions of Inuit Nunangat.
  • Naadohbii: To Draw Water: Naadohbii: To Draw Water, brings together artwork from Turtle Island, Aotearoa, and Australia, contributing dialogue on water and our changing environment from an Indigenous perspective and with an international scope. @ Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Blvd. Winnipeg
  • When Veins Meet Like Rivers; ᑲᑎᓐᓂᖅ / okhížata / maadawaan @ Plug In ICA, 460 Portage Avenue #1, Winnipeg
  • Heartbeat of a Nation – Métis Women, 250 Years: See 250 handmade, smoke fired bowls which represent those years and honour the lives of Métis women @ Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Boulevard, Winnipeg
  • Visit Urban Shaman Gallery, Winnipeg this weekend (closed on Sept 30th)

APTN has a full day of programming honouring the survivors of Canada’s Residential Schools meant to foster dialogue and understanding. Greet the day on September 30 with APTN’s latest production, APTN Sunrise Ceremony beginning at 6:00 am. Reflect and remember this day with programs such as We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice, Every Child Matters, We Were Children, and more. View schedule here: https://honourtheday.ca/
Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger, Alanis Obomsawin’s 52nd film tells the story of how the life of Jordan River Anderson initiated a battle for the right of First Nations and Inuit children to receive the same standard of social, health and educational services as the rest of the Canadian population. Watch online at: https://www.nfb.ca/film/jordan-river-anderson-the-messenger/

Visit nctr.ca to watch Truth and Reconciliation this week’s programming as it becomes available to the general public as well as their live stream on YouTube.

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