The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and National Orange Shirt Day, is a day to honour survivors, their families and communities and commemorates the history and legacy of residential schools. It also demonstrates a commitment to reconciliation and affirms Every Child Matters.
In July 2021, the Government of Canada passed Bill C-5 to make September 30 a federal statutory holiday in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Call to Action Number 80.
This day is an important step in the reconciliation process, providing an opportunity to acknowledge our country’s history of systemic racism, recognize and commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, and to honour their survivors, their families, and communities.
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) was created to preserve the memory and legacy of Canada’s Residential School system. It was also created to ensure that survivors and their families have access to their own history.
- National Student Memorials Register the development of this memorial register, and the print form of the memorial, is the result of work by countless people and the advice, guidance and blessings from Survivors, Elders and Knowledge Keepers.
- The memorial remembers, honours and acknowledges those children who died while attending a residential school in Canada. This registry represents the first time the names of children that never returned from the schools are commemorated and made available on a national basis in Canada. In recognizing these children, we recognize the pain inflicted on families and communities.
- Survivor’s Flag: survivors from across Canada helped create their expressions of commemoration, meant for communities and individuals to show their commitment to remembrance and hope for Reconciliation.
- The National Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of his or her Residential school experience.1-866-925-4419
- Events, education and research are available online. For those with limited access to the internet or a computer, the NCTR can provide support.
All of us can contribute to the truth and reconciliation process by identifying which of the Calls to Action and Calls to Justice could be addressed in our organizations, developing implementation plans, taking actions, and reporting on progress.
Below are a few events shared at our recent Poverty Task Force meeting.
- Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation will hold a variety of community events throughout the week including a youth/sacred fire and family events at the Maadookii Centre and the Community Garden pavilion.
Owen Sound – in person
- M’Wikwedong IFC will holda sacred fire, 1-3pm, Sept 30th. All are welcome.
- Gitche Namewikwedong Reconciliation Garden will hold a sacred fire at the garden, 3 -5pm, Sept 30th. All are welcome.
Grey Bruce – virtual event
- Bruce Grey Child & Family Services is hosting a children’s book launch for authors Sara Florence Davidson & Robert Davidson, 11 am, Sept 29th. To register, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Rogers TV will be offering a daily land acknowledgement on their community cable channel 53 in Grey County starting on Sept. 30.
- Grey County recognizes the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (National Orange Shirt Day) by sharing the stories and history of Indigenous people their families, and communities in Grey County through open discussions, exhibits and storytelling; all flags be lowered to half-mast and the Every Child Matters flag be flown annually on September 30.
- Town of Hanover; https://www.hanover.ca/events/national-day-for-truth-and-reconciliation
- Hanover Library will be offering programming to recognise the day in various ways, to raise local awareness of Indigenous issues and Residential schools.
- Bruce County recognizes the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (National Orange Shirt Day) by sharing the stories of residential school survivors, their families, and communities. They fly the “Every Child Matters” flag at prominent County locations through September, lowering to half-mast on Thursday, September 30 to acknowledge Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
- Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre – https://www.brucecounty.on.ca/news/2021-sep-02/national-day-truth-and-reconciliation-bruce-county
- Bruce County Library has created a Reading List on Residential Schools.
- Orange Shirt Society https://www.orangeshirtday.org/orange-shirt-society.html
- University of Toronto Understanding Indigenous Perspectives– register by contacting email@example.com or call 1-855-488-5212 for a set of free learning modules to support with education to gain a deeper understanding of key issues affecting indigenous people in Canada.
- TRC Calls to action: https://ehprnh2mwo3.exactdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf
- University of Alberta Indigenous Canada course – approx 21 hours to complete. https://bit.ly/3zD1KE1
- Ne’iikaanigaana: Creating safer environments for Indigenous Peoples
A webinar held on creating safer environments for Indigenous Peoples in partnership with the Indigenous Primary Health Care Council. Video will be posted here: https://www.mcmasterforum.org/rise/join-events Ontario ICS program info can be found here: https://www.iphcc.ca/ontario-ics-program/
- National Truth and Reconciliation Conference, virtual, Sept 27 to Oct 1, 2021.
Kids are back-to-school and adjusting to another year of the pandemic. Everyone is hopeful that the 4th wave will allow them to continue with in-person classes.
- The government has introduced guidelines for a mandatory vaccine passport.
- All Grey County and Bruce County libraries continue to support people to print out their proof of vaccination.
The impact of the pandemic is being analyzed locally and nationally:
- YMCA Canada and YWCA Canada report – Preventing Lockdown Generation – a plan to support Canada’s youth in post-pandemic recovery
- Youth are experiencing multiple shocks since the beginning of the pandemic, including the threat of climate change. And marginalized youth experiencing barriers to services and opportunities have been more disadvantaged during the crisis. The International Labour Organization warns that a “lockdown generation” is imminent if urgent measures are not taken to support young people.
- The recommendations within the YMCA/YWCA report built upon the Young People Championing Post-Pandemic Futures position paper.
- Four County Labour Market Planning Board: The Impact of COVID19 on women in Huron-Perth Grey Bruce survey is still underway and ends Sept 30th. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/covidf
- RentSafe Owen Sound Collaborative: please reach out to landlords and property managers in Owen Sound so they can share their experiences on maintaining healthy rental housing conditions with an anonymous survey: https://www.surveymonkey.ca/r/NCLWY3M.
FOOD SECURITY SUPPORTS
- 250,000 community meals have been distributed. A 300% increase over last year.
- 80,000 kilograms of fresh produce distributed through foodrescue.ca equal to 4 greyhound buses.
- 150,000 kilograms of food distributed by food banks equal to 8 greyhound buses.
- 13,000 kilograms of fresh produce shared from community gardens.
- Feed Ontario has released its Impact Report 2020-2021 Standing Stronger Together
- The County of Bruce has released the Bruce County Master Transportation Plan (MTP) Report. The study identified and defined existing constraints as well as opportunities to evaluate solutions in order to provide a safe, efficient, environmentally and economically sustainable, transportation network.
- The Master Plan Report (MPR) documents the planning and decision-making process for this study. The MPR is on public record and is available for a 30 day review period starting September 28, 2021, and ending October 29, 2021, in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Class EA, for public review.
Stay well, Jill