- Read the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission 2. In a summary report released earlier this year, the commission published 94 “calls to action” urging all levels of government — federal, provincial, territorial and aboriginal — to work together to change policies and programs in a concerted effort to repair the harm caused by residential schools and move forward with reconciliation. Even the act of reading these recommendations is an important step toward reconciliation.
- Wear orange. Read Phyllis Webstad’s Story Behind Orange Shirt Day
- Read a book or listen to a podcast:
- Media Indigena: a weekly podcast by Indigenous producers on a variety of Canadian news topics
- The Secret Life of Canada podcast: “a history podcast about the country you know and the stories you don’t.”
- Bead by Bead – Yvonne Boyer and Larry Chartrand: Bead by Bead lays bare the failure of judicial doctrine and government policy to address Métis rights, and offers constructive insights on ways to advance reconciliation.
- They Came for the Children: Canada, Aboriginal Peoples, and Residential Schools – Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada staff: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada published this history as a part of its mandate to educate the Canadian public about residential schools and their place in Canadian history.
- Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors – Larry Loyie, Wayne K. Spear and Constance Brissenden: “This essential volume written by award-winning author Larry Loyie (Cree), a survivor of St. Bernard Mission residential school in Grouard, AB, and co-authored by Constance Brissenden and Wayne K. Spear (Mohawk), reflects the ongoing commitment of this team to express the truths about residential school experiences and to honour the survivors whose voices are shared in this book.”
- Summary of the Indian Act: This is an excellent, brief, plain language explanation of an act which is shockingly still in effect today in spite of its initial objective of control and assimilation, to “continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic, and there is no Indian question, and no Indian department.”
- Some other great books I’ve enjoyed:
My kids Oliver and Lyndon raised $800 for the The Indian Residential School Survivors Society through a lemonade stand back in June. Maybe fall isn’t the best time for a lemonade stand, but you can still donate directly to the society! The Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS) is a provincial organization with a twenty-year history of providing services to Indian Residential School Survivors. They strive to provide physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual growth, development, and healing through culturally-based values and guiding principles for Survivors, Families, and Communities.
- Attend the Food is our Medicine Webinar.
Across the country, over 300 leaders in health care and community work are deepening their understanding of the complex relationships between Indigenous foodways, reconciliation, healing and health care with Food is Our Medicine. You can now explore a self-paced Learning Journey and a multimedia Digital Resource Library to learn about Indigenous perspectives, cultures and foodways, and reflect on how to work towards decolonization and reconciliation in your workplace and personal life. This series was developed by the Indigenous and Allies Advisory in collaboration with Nourish, and with the contributions of Indigenous artists and artisans.
- Take the Indigenous Canada Online U of A Course.
I’m two weeks in now and this is a great program I would highly recommend! Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations.
I hope you’ll find something in that list or on one of the many other lists like it that you can do to acknowledge this important holiday! Let us know if you have any questions or comments, or resources of your own!
All my best,
Sonia Strobel, Co-founder & CEO