The Government of Canada recently passed legislation to make September 30th a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The goal is to provide an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, and to honour their survivors, families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and the ongoing impacts of residentials schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.
In addition to National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Orange Shirt Day also takes place on September 30th.
Every year of September 30th, people wear orange shirts to honour the children who survived residential schools, and to remember the children who didn’t survive. Orange Shirt Day is based on a story told by Phyllis Webstad about having her new orange shirt taken from her on the first day of residential school.
RAW recently reached out to the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) and Council Fire to learn more about how RAW can engage, learn, and see how we can have an active role in the Indigenous community going forward. We hope to continue the conversations and find meaningful ways to build an ongoing relationship with the community.
If you would like to learn more, or are looking for ways to Engage in Truth and Reconciliation, check out some of these resources: