September 30, 2021 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
On this day, we as Canadians honour First Nations, Inuit and Metis Survivors, their families and their communities. It is important that we shed light on our shared history. This is a day of recognition and remembrance for those who have suffered and a day to honour all the lives that were lost at residential schools. May we all take the opportunity to expand our knowledge about residential schools, reconciliation and the Indigenous cultures of our country.
The day establishes a public commemoration of the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities, and the ongoing impacts of residential schools for the First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples.
This day builds on an Indigenous-led movement called Orange Shirt Day which has taken place on 30 September for the last 8 years. Orange Shirt Day raises awareness among Canadians about the legacy and ongoing impacts of the residential school system.
This year’s day of remembrance is marked not only as the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation but the recent identification of unmarked graves at former residential school sites across Canada. Today the Municipality of South Dundas stands with Indigenous Peoples and reaffirms support of those impacted.
We must recognize our shared responsibility for healing and the intergenerational trauma caused by residential schools that continues to have a profound effect on Survivors, their families and their communities. Every child matters, not just now, but in our past and in our future.
Please take the time today to visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website to learn more about the legacy of residential schools and find other helpful educational resources.
“This is an encouraging day in Canada’s history where we take an important step to ensure a better future for Canada’s indigenous peoples. We cannot change the past, but we can learn from our mistakes by recognizing the pain and heartache that was caused. It is time for us to move forward together, toward a brighter future.
“On behalf of the Municipality of South Dundas, we raise the orange flag as a symbol of our respect and solidarity with our Indigenous communities.”
– Mayor Steven Byvelds
“Although we are encouraged that Canada has begun to acknowledge and commemorate our [people] we know that there is still so much work that needs to be done. We encourage individuals from outside of indigenous communities to use today as an opportunity to learn more about the traumas that were forced on our people in an effort to eradicate us. And also to reflect on what you can do to help in the journey of reconciliation.”
– Kana:takon District Chief Tim Thompson