Explore resources for learning, donating, and supporting Indigenous peoples on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.
On September 30th, Canada observes the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day. It is a day dedicated to remembering and honouring the experiences of Indigenous peoples who have been affected by the legacy of Indian Residential Schools. People wear orange shirts to honour the children who survived Canada’s Indian Residential Schools and to remember the children who didn’t survive.
Residential schools in Canada were institutions that inflicted immense pain and suffering on Indigenous children, tearing them away from their families and communities. Operated by churches and the Canadian government, these schools aimed to assimilate Indigenous children by forbidding them from practicing their culture, speaking their language, or maintaining their traditional way of life. The devastating impact of residential schools on Indigenous communities cannot be overstated, as it has led to intergenerational trauma, cultural loss, and deep-rooted systemic inequalities that continue to persist today.
By recognizing the past and engaging in dialogue, we can strive for healing, justice, and reconciliation. Let us wear orange shirts with hope, understanding that by acknowledging and respecting the experiences of Indigenous peoples, we can work towards a more equitable future for them.
Explore the list of resources below to educate yourself and contribute to healing, understanding, and reconciliation:
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: Learn about the Residential School History.
- Whose Land: Whose Land is a web-based app that helps identify Indigenous Nations, territories, and communities across Canada. It is a valuable tool for learning about the land you reside on and understanding the treaties and agreements in place.
- Indigenous Canada: This online course offered by the Faculty of Native Studies explores the histories and contemporary perspectives of Indigenous peoples in Canada. It provides a comprehensive understanding of Indigenous cultures, rights, and issues.
- Ontario Native Women’s Association: ONWA offers educational resources focused on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) issue. These resources help raise awareness and promote understanding of this critical issue.
Donation and Support
- Native Hope: Native Hope is a resource that supports Native communities in meeting their needs. By partnering with tribal entities, they work towards dismantling barriers, empowering individuals, and providing hope for a promising future.
- Indspire: Indspire is an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. Your donations contribute to the long-term benefit of individuals, families, and communities.
- Aboriginal Legal Services: This registered charity provides support and guidance to the Indigenous community, dealing with justice issues and offering culturally-based alternatives.
- National Association of Friendship Centres: The Friendship Centre Movement is a network of over 100 Friendship Centres and 7 Provincial/Territorial Associations, providing crucial front-line work to urban Indigenous communities. Consider donating your time, resources, or making a financial contribution to support their initiatives.
Supporting Mental Health
- Hope for Wellness Helpline: The Hope for Wellness Helpline provides 24/7 support to all Indigenous people across Canada. Culturally competent counsellors are available via telephone and online chat, offering a safe space for individuals to seek help.
- First Nations Health Authority Mental Health and Wellness Supports: The First Nations Health Authority offers a comprehensive list of mental health and wellness supports, ensuring culturally safe and trauma-informed services are accessible 24/7.
- Indian Residential School Survivors Society: The IRSSS supports residential school survivors and families experiencing intergenerational trauma. Their essential services have been providing support to Indigenous people since 1994.
Our Book List
- Michelle Good – Truth Telling: Seven Conversations about Indigenous Life in Canada: Truth Telling is a collection of essays about the contemporary Indigenous experience in Canada. From resistance and reconciliation to the resurgence and reclamation of Indigenous power, Michelle Good explores the issues through a series of personal essays.
- Jesse Wente – Unreconciled: Family, Truth, and Indigenous Resistance: Part memoir and part manifesto, Unreconciled is a stirring call to arms to put truth over the flawed concept of reconciliation, and to build a new, respectful relationship between the nation of Canada and Indigenous peoples.
- Sean Carleton – Lessons in Legitimacy: Lessons in Legitimacy brings the histories of different kinds of state schooling for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples – public schools, Indian Day Schools, and Indian Residential Schools – into one analytical frame.