Earlier this year, the federal government passed legislation to declare September 30th a statutory holiday called National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day is meant to provide Canadians the opportunity to “recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools”. September 30th also coincides with Orange Shirt Day, which began in 2013 and involved wearing orange to honour the Indigenous children forced to leave their homes to attend residential schools. The City of Vaughan has proclaimed September 30th to be Orange Shirt Day and here at Vaughan Public Libraries, we are hoping to use this day to provide people with the knowledge they need to recognize the importance of this new holiday and provide resources for further learning.
This post will be broken down into a Q&A style to help unpack some of the necessary and important concepts at the core of this day. Most information comes from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and its accompanying summary, which was created to listen and report on the experiences from residential school Survivors. Some of the topics discussed may be hard to read but we acknowledge that bearing witness to the truth is all in part of the reconciliation process.Continue reading