Since 2013, September 30 has been commemorated as Orange Shirt Day across Canada in honour of the Survivors of Indian Residential Schools. Starting this year, September 30 will also now be designated as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The date was declared a statutory federal holiday with the passage of Bill C-5 in June of this year, in response to one of the 94 Calls to Action of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
This day is an important step in the reconciliation process. It provides an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, and to honour their survivors, their families and communities.
In Sooke, an event will be held by our local Truth 4 Reconciliation members and will take place at the Sooke Library at 11am.
Event organizers are asking to hear from non-Indigenous people about what they have learned from listening to the stories of survivors. They ask:
- What have you done or what are you planning to do differently?
- What is your contribution to truth-telling?
- Which truths have you surfaced or told and how have you gone about addressing this head-on and/or reconciling it?
- How are you holding others accountable to truth-telling so things can be reconciled?
Members express, “Please – instead of always asking survivors to re-experience trauma so you can ‘hear it firsthand’ or ‘understand’ or ‘be a nice ally’ – lift away the burden from us and tell us what you are doing.”
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
- Government of Canada, Marking the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
- Government of Canada, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
- Beyond 94: Truth and Reconciliation in Canada
- The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
Available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their Residential school experience.
WATCH, Phyllis’ story: