Content note: residential schools, genocide, colonial violence
On this inaugural National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, we commemorate and honour survivors of residential schools, those who never came home, and their affected families who withstood generations of colonial, genocidal violence which continues to this day. Happening on September 30th, Orange Shirt Day was started by Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwepemc author and residential school survivor.
We hold that decolonization and reconciliation is a responsibility of us all. What are we personally and collectively doing to interrogate the disrupt the colonial state, prevent the destruction of Indigenous lands/water/air, support #LandBack movements, and ensure that Indigenous sovereignty is respected and Indigenous ways of being, doing, and knowing continue to thrive?
Beyond wearing orange shirts*, we have compiled a few suggestions below, but we encourage you to seek out more ways to participate and support, as we all strive to reflect, learn, and act on this day and throughout our lives.
*Please do your research if you’re buying orange shirts or Indigenous artwork, to verify that you’re buying from Indigenous artists! Settlers, please also be mindful that the orange shirt is a symbol of residential school violence. Do not make this into a day for wearing orange shirts and taking selfies just to alleviate guilt, and instead consider deeply on how to support and act meaningfully.
🟠 PARTICIPATE IN EVENTS 🟠
There are many events happening throughout the week, in-person and online. Many are also being recorded.
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (events all week, including YouTube video links)
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc #DrumForTheChildren
September 30, 11 am - 3 pm, Drumming at 2:15 pm Pacific Time
Online conversation with legal scholar Tamara Starblanket on genocide, Indigenous Nations and the Canadian state.
Sept 30, 7-8:30 pm Eastern Time
Link to register: bit.ly/3kbGnnC
🟠 LEARN AND SHARE 🟠
Decolonization Reading Lists:
Orange Shirt Day Resources & Supplies
What is Land Back?
CBC's interactive tool monitoring Canada's progress on the 94 calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report
Decolonizing On-Demand with Nahanee Creative: Six online mini-courses
🟠 REDISTRIBUTE WEALTH 🟠
Settlers can give one day’s pay to Indigenous organizations:
This website only shares a few. We ask settlers to also research and support Indigenous organizations in your local area.
Black and Indigenous Healing Fund (for those on the stolen territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Peoples, so-called “Vancouver”):
🟠 CONTACT YOUR MPS 🟠
Contact the Prime Minister and your MPs and keep them accountable to the TRC’s 94 calls to action:
One specific demand you can tell them is to stop fighting Indigenous children in court and to not appeal the recent Federal Court decision regarding compensation of children in reserves neglected through the child welfare system.
Template here: www.facebook.com/AutisticsUnitedCA/posts/1482868082074913
🟠 MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT 🟠
For those that need support on this day:
Mental health supports and resource list
[Image: Black text against orange background:
Residential School Survivors:
- Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419-
-Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program: Use link provided in social media post
-Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society: 1-800-721-0066
-National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ Toll-free Support Phone Line: 1-844-413-6649
-Family Survivors Circle: Use link provided in social media post
Hope for Wellness Help Line: Online chat or phone line available at 1-855-242-3310
Talk4Healing Line (Ontario): 1-855-554-HEAL (4325)
Kids Help Phone: Online chat or phone line available at 1-800-668-6868
Bottom left is the logo of the National Association of Friendship Centres / Association nationale des centres d'amitié depicting a cone in the middle of two rectangular prisms
In a circle with a branch with leaves on top, the words "every child matters", with matters in cursive. ]