Truth & Reconciliation Day

Image showing the official banner for NDTR Day

“Our future, and the well-being of all our children rests with the kind of relationships we build today.”

~ Chief Dr. Robert Joseph

Today is the day to honour First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Survivors of Residential Schools, their families and
their communities.

We can honour them by taking the time to learn about our shared history, pausing to think about the children who didn’t come home, reflecting on the continuing impacts of Residential Schools.

This day is an opportunity to start conversations, listen and learn to be strong allies to Indigenous Peoples. Let’s all work together to build a path toward healing and understanding — not just today but every day.

Ways to Support Indigenous People and Communities

Learn

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation — Canadian Government webpage

Orange Shirt Society — a non-profit organization with its home in Williams Lake, BC where Orange Shirt Day began in 2013.

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation — created as part of the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).

Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund — Their goal is to improve the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education, and connections between all peoples in Canada.

Read and understand The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report. The Commission heard over 5000 stories from residential school survivors. From those testimonies, the TRC developed 94 Calls to Action to facilitate reconciliation. Don’t miss The TRC Final Report — Volume 4: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials.

Read the powerful firsthand accounts from survivors of the Indian Residential Schools published in the TRC’s report The Survivors Speak

Enroll in the Free Course on Indigenous Canada by the University of Alberta

Watch the National Film Board of Canada documentary film, We Were Children, by Tim Wolochatiuk. Available to rent or buy. Viewer discretion advised.

Take Action

Call, write or email your Member of Parliament and demand that the federal government implement the TRC’s 94 Calls To Action [pdf]. 

Contact your MP and demand that the federal government enact into law, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Sign the petition demanding a National Day of Mourning for the Lost Children of Residential School. Share the petition on your social media and with your family and friends.

Sign the pledge to take action to end violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people. Share the pledge on your social media and with your family and friends.

Donate

You can help by donating to these organizations across the country that support Residential School Survivors and work.

The best way to support the Indigenous community is by listening. Speaking about the trauma they have experienced may be difficult for many Indigenous Peoples. If they choose to share their stories with us, we must listen with empathy and validate their feelings. As allies, our role is to listen, respect their truths and offer support. Add your voice to theirs to fight for change.

Find Help

If you are a former residential school student in distress, or have been affected by the residential school system and need help, please call one of the crisis lines below.

The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day, toll-free by calling 1-866-925-4419.

The Indian Residential School Survivors Society crisis support line is available toll-free 24/7 at 1-800-721-0066. The IRSSS provides survivors in British Columbia with counselling, financial support, and an online platform to share their stories.

In British Columbia, the KUU-US Crisis Line Society crisis line is available toll-free, 24-hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-588-8717

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