By
Pace Law

The National Day For Truth And Reconciliation

September 30, 2022

Residential Schools – Background:

The Indian Residential School system operated all over Canada throughout the 1870s and the 1990s. Indian Residential Schools were established to segregate Indigenous children from their families, groups, and communities, in an effort to gradually wipe away their traditions, cultural practices, beliefs, and languages.

Indian Residential Schools, which were frequently located far from the homes of the students, were required to enroll upwards of 150,000 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children from across the nation. Many never made it back home from school.

 

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation takes place on September 30th for the second consecutive year. Each year, September 30th marks both Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Legislative amendments made by Parliament created this federal statutory holiday.

For workers and workplaces regulated by the federal government, Sept. 30 is a statutory holiday. Each province and territory has the right to decide whether it should also be a statutory holiday for its government workers, schools and businesses.

On this day, children who never returned to their families and communities, as well as survivors of residential schools, are honored. As part of the reconciliation process, it is imperative that we honor and commemorate the tragedy and pain of residential schools and their ongoing impacts.

In Ontario, Friday, September 30th is a federal holiday rather than a statutory holiday. This means that people who work for a federally regulated company will have a paid holiday on this day. As with Remembrance Day, the government recognizes the importance of schools, workplaces, and communities across Ontario joining together on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honor those harmed by residential school policies.

 

Get Involved, learn about, and support the Indigenous community:

The websites and resources listed below are just a few that can be used to learn more about the history of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples as well as the lingering effects of Indian Residential Schools in Ontario. Here is what you can do to take part and assist First Nations during this time:

List of public celebrations for Orange Shirt Day taking place in Canada: https://www.orangeshirtday.org/events.html

Buy an orange shirt that supports Indigenous organizations or artists: https://www.blogto.com/fashion_style/2022/09/buy-orange-shirt-day-ontario/

Mental health services available: Former residential school students seeking emotional/mental referral support information, and facilities may contact 1-866-925-4419 for numerous health and medical supports from the Government of Canada.

1-hour nationwide gathering telecasted live from Ottawa: https://www.aptntv.ca/ndtr/rtc/

Learn more about The First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples throughout Canada: https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1621447127773/1621447157184

Funding to help families, Survivors, and communities to locate and memorialize children of residential schools across Canada: https://rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1622742779529/1628608766235

 

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