September 30th is Orange Shirt Day and is now recognized by the Federal government as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day is a time to honour the lost Indigenous children and survivors of Residential schools, their families and communities, and to bear witness to the history and legacy of the residential school system in Canada and its impact on Indigenous communities. It is a time for non-Indigenous communities to reflect in an action-oriented way on how we can take ownership and responsibility for the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action and where we each stand in relation to this shared history.
In solidarity with Indigenous communities and in the spirit of reconciliation, The Storefront will be closed on September 30th to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (staff will have this off as a paid holiday).
As a community backbone organization with non-Indigenous and settler leadership and staff, The Storefront team is committed to holding space for action-oriented reflection on reconciliation, the legacy of colonial violence, and implications for our work in an ongoing way: for example, on Canada Day, we shared educational resources on Indigenous history, resilience and resistance with the staff team to encourage independent learning. On this occasion, on September 29th, the Storefront team will be engaging in a more structured internal staff learning on the legacy of residential schools in Canada. We will also be taking the time to review the Indigenous ReconciliACTIONS and encouraging staff, collectively or individually, to take action.
Here are some resources informing our staff learning:
- Indigenous Land Acknowledgement by Native Governance Centre
- Indigenous ReconciliACTIONS – Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund
- 35 Books to read for National Indigenous History Month (2020) – CBC
- From Native Child & Family Resources, a list of resources & ways to support Indigenous communities
- From UTSC’s Indigenous Outreach Program, a series of free virtual events for the community for Truth & Reconciliation Week (Sept 27-Oct 4)
- Truth & Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action
For those in our community who are non-Indigenous or settlers to Turtle Island, we encourage you to pick a resource or event above, engage with it, and take one action on Indigenous well-being and sovereignty on this National Day for Truth & Reconciliation.