We are just one week away from the first-ever, Federally designated, National Truth and Reconciliation Day! Team Jilly will be observing this statutory holiday that was created to promote awareness about the genocide of Indigenous children in the residential school system across Turtle Island.
How do we, as settlers, take action to address the harms committed and ensure that we don’t uphold that harm? We at Team Jilly humbly continue this journey of learning and unlearning. Collectively we compiled a list of the ways that we intend to honour this day, and no matter where you are at on your journey, we welcome you to join!
Ways We Are Honouring National Truth and Reconciliation Day
1. Read and reflect on the Truth and Reconciliation Report
2. Review the Canadian Residential Schools History, Part 1 1939.
3. Learn what it will take for all First Nations communities to have reliable access to safe drinking water.
4. Take time to recognize and commemorate the tragic reality and ongoing legacy of residential schools.
5. Listen to the podcast: “Truth and Reconciliation” produced by the University of Calgary.
6. Check out the podcast: Finding Cleo.
7. Watch the Canadian television series First Contact.
9. Learn more about the land we occupy and more importantly, the original caretakers of the land: https://native-land.ca/
10. Continue having crucial conversations with family, friends, and kids.
11. Support a local Indigenous business. Like one of our favourites: the Kekuli Cafe in Westbank.
12. Supporting some of our favourite indigenous-owned brands Hawkmooth Bead Co, White Otter Designs Co, Cheekbone Beauty, Sḵwálwen Botanicals, Land of Daughters, Awasis Boutique, Poppy and Peonies to name a few.
13. We will all be wearing our Orange Shirts from Orange Shirt Day!
14. Read a book written by an Indigenous author, such as Calling My Spirit Back by Elaine Alec
Some Future Actions to Take:
- Stay informed of the rising number of Canadian Indian residential school gravesites.
- Challenge misinformation – we have been missing a big part of the story for so long. Now is the time to examine the facts and correct the narrative.
- Take a course to learn the significance of Indigenous Land Acknowledgement: Introduction to Territorial Acknowledgments – Nahanee Creative.
- If you are a teacher and/or educational administrator, check out this free online event: A Virtual Event Open to All Canadian Schools For Youth Grades 5 – 12!
- Learn how to build respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples and create culturally safe spaces. Take the educational workshops developed and facilitated by kinSHIFT.
- Order a Orange Shirt or donate to the Orange Shirt Society
- Sign the petition and Demand Truth and Justice: Investigate Canada’s crimes against Indigenous Peoples.
- Know what stance each political party is taking on Truth & Reconciliation and put some pressure on your representative to prioritize it.
This list is by no means exhaustive. Share with the community the actions you will take. We recognize that this is a painful and challenging time, we offer our compassion and support to Indigenous Peoples as we aspire to become allies.
We respectfully acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional, unceded territory of the Okanagan Syilx People.