Litchfield, le 30 septembre 2021 – The MRC Pontiac highlights the importance of commemorating the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day in the Pontiac and across Canada
September 30, 2021 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and is also Orange Shirt Day, an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours the children who survived Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not. There were 140 federally run Indian Residential Schools which operated in Canada between 1831 and 1998. The last school closed only 23 years ago. This day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.
Today, we at the MRC Pontiac, invite all residents to wear orange to raise awareness of the very tragic legacy of residential schools, and to honour the thousands of Survivors. We also encourage residents who are available to join the commemorative ceremony spearheaded by the Pontiac Native Community at the Pontiac Anishinaabe Healing Garden in Mansfield-et-Pontefract today at 1 p.m.
Aside from raising awareness, here are some other steps one could take to make a true impact today and every other day for Indigenous Peoples in Canada:
- Take time to learn about the history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada;
- Listen to the testimonies of survivors of the Residential School system;
- Contemplate any personal discomfort resulting from Canada’s actions and open a dialogue with your family members and friends about the past and current treatment of Indigenous Peoples in Canada;
- Read the 94 Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Report and recognize your role in the work that needs to be done;
- Learn how to properly acknowledge the land that we live on;
- Create space for Indigenous People to speak in your community and trust Indigenous leaders;
- Support Indigenous businesses, experiences, artists and events;
- Donate to Indigenous run organizations, such as the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, The Native Women’s Association of Canada, The Legacy of Hope Foundation, and many more!
Former Residential School students can call 1-866-925-4419 for emotional crisis referral services and information on other health supports from the Government of Canada.
Indigenous peoples across Canada can also go to The Hope for Wellness Help Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for counselling and crisis intervention. Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat.