Learn about how your municipality can recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
As a result of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement
, which was the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history, the Government of Canada established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
(TRC) to facilitate reconciliation among former residential school students, their families, their communities, and all Canadians. Between 2007 and 2015, the TRC travelled across Canada to:
- Listen to the stories of 6,500 residential school Survivors
- Educate the public about the history and legacy of the residential school system
- Share and honour the experiences of former students and their families
In 2015, the TRC released its final report
, which includes 94 Calls to Action
intended to further reconciliation between Canada and Indigenous peoples. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation responds to the TRC’s Call to Action #80 which states:
We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour 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.
As we approach September 30, there are many ways that your municipality can recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, regardless of whether your municipality has declared it a holiday. The RMA has compiled some resources that members can utilize to support recognition:
- The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation will be hosting a series of online events during their Truth and Reconciliation Week from September 26 to September 30. The programming will feature short videos created by Indigenous storytellers, followed by conversations with elders, Knowledge Keepers, Survivors, and the children of Survivors of residential schools. All the events are accessible to the public and registration is free.
- Review and discuss other reports that the TRC published in 2015, including:
- Encourage your municipal staff to wear an orange shirt on September 30.
- Orange Shirt Day began in 2013 in Williams Lake, British Columbia to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of Survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation.
If your municipality is doing something special to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, please feel free to share your ideas with the RMA to be featured in the September 23 edition of Contact
. Email ideas or plans to Warren Noga at warren@RMAlberta.com
Manager of Policy & Advocacy