Truth and Reconciliation Day
September 30th has been declared the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. You can learn more about this federal declaration on the official Government of Canada website.
The library will be closed on September 30th of each year out of respect for Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action #80 “to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process."
September 30th is also Orange Shirt Day. Everyone is encouraged to wear an orange shirt to honour the survivors of residential schools.
What is Orange Shirt Day?
Orange shirt day is an Indigenous-led grass roots commemorative day to honour the survivors of residential schools. This day serves to raise awareness of the individual, family, and inter-generational impacts of residential schools and to reinforce the point that "Every Child Matters." The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
Commemorating the Day
Every year, there are events planned in the Tri-Municipal area that people can attend. You can find more information about local events in Our Gathering Place, a page managed and updated by Spruce Grove Public Library.
You can also check the Town of Stony Plain, City of Spruce Grove, and Parkland County websites for updates on local events. You can also look for events by following the hashtag #NDTR on social media.
Truth and Reconciliation Commision and its calls to action
From canada.ca on September 1st, 2023:
There were 140 federally run residential schools in Canada that operated between 1867 and 1996. Survivors advocated for recognition and reparations and demanded accountability for the intergenerational impacts of harm caused. Their efforts culminated in:
- the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement
- apologies by the government
- the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- the creation of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission ran from 2008 to 2015 and provided those directly or indirectly affected by the legacy of the residential schools policy with an opportunity to share their stories and experiences. The Commission released its final report detailing 94 calls to action. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a direct response to Call to Action 80, which called for a federal statutory day of commemoration.
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation has become the permanent archive for the statements, documents and other materials the Commission gathered. Its library and collections, as well as its National Student Memorial Register, are the foundation for ongoing learning and research.