On June 3rd, 2021, the federal government passed legislation to identify September 30, 2021 as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

This day is designated as an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools, and was proposed in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2015). The report called upon ‘the federal government, in collaboration Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honor Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.’

Kerry’s Place Autism Services acknowledges the legacy of residential schools and reaffirms its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We respect the commemoration of this day as a step towards truth and reconciliation, and reflect on the injustices of residential schools in Canada.

Orange Shirt Day

As you may know, September 30th is also Orange Shirt Day, which invites Canadians to wear orange shirts on September 30th each year to honour survivors of residential schools, their families, and their communities. This day relates to the experience of Phyllis Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, on her first day of school, where she arrived dressed in a new orange shirt. We ask that you all take a moment to view the following video and reflect on this story.

We are encouraging all our staff to wear orange on September 30th, again to honour survivors, and to raise awareness of the tragic legacy of residential schools.

Training, Education and Additional Resources

Kerry’s Place, as an organization of continuous learning, will be exploring training and education opportunities for all staff on the important history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. This is to further our support of truth and reconciliation, in particular providing education on “the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools…”. (Call to Action #57).

In the interim, we would like to share the following information/resources with you:

  • National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (Reports)
  • Meaningful ways to mark Canada’s first-ever Truth and Reconciliation Day (Video)
    • The federal government has declared Sept. 30 a new statutory holiday to honour the legacy of residential schools. Global News talks to Hunter Cardinal of Indigenous consultancy Naheyawin about meaningful ways to spend the day, and why this work is generational. (Click Here)
  • The Reconciliation: A Starting Point
    • This mobile app is a reference tool for learning about First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples, including key historical events and examples of reconciliation initiatives. Users will learn why reconciliation matters and what public servants need to know and do to advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in Canada. (Click Here)
  • Indigenous Canada – University of Alberta (Free Online Course)
    • About the Course: Indigenous Canada is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations. (Click Here)

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