Truth and Reconciliation Week takes place this year from September 17 through October 1, 2021. This five-day national event will continue the important conversations around the truths of the Indigenous treaties, First Nation, Métis and Inuit land claims, and the residential school system. 

What is Truth and Reconciliation? 

Between 1831 and 1998, the federal government ran 140 Residential Schools for Indigenous children. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established in 2008 in response to requests for recognition and accountability for the harms caused by residential schools.  

In 2015, the TRC released its final report, outlining 94 calls to action. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation addresses 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, and its library and collections are the foundation for ongoing learning and research.

Virtual Live Sessions for Educators and Students

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation have developed a number of resources and will be hosting live virtual sessions for educators and students in Grades 5-12.

The sessions will cover topics such as the truths of the Indigenous treaties, First Nation, Métis and Inuit land claims, and the residential schools system.

To register for the sessions, please visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website at https://nctr.ca/education/trw/.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation –  September 30, 2021

September 30, 2021 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and the Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) will join communities across Canada to honour the First Nations, Inuit and Métis residential school victims, survivors and lost children. 

As a symbol of our collective grief for the thousands of children whose remains have been uncovered at residential school sites across Canada, on  September 30th, we will be lowering the National Flag of Canada to half-mast at our Catholic Education Centre and across all HCDSB schools.  

Wear Orange on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 

Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots day that commemorates the survivors and lost children of residential schools. 

On September 30th, staff, students and families are encouraged to wear an orange shirt, make an orange shirt pin, or participate in a Walk of Remembrance to raise awareness about the history and legacies of the residential school system in Canada. 

Orange Shirt Day originates from the story of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. In 1973, Phyllis arrived to her first day of school wearing a new orange shirt which ended up being taken from her. The orange shirt is now a symbol of culture and self-esteem lost due to the residential school system.

Learn more about National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on the Government of Canada website at: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/national-day-truth-reconciliation.html

Orange Shirt Day Family Paint Night ~ September 22, 2021

On September 22, 2021, HCDSB families, students and staff were invited to participate in a virtual family paint night in recognition of Orange Shirt Day.

The online session was hosted by Indigenous Artist, Moses Lunham, who provide step-by-step instructions on how to create a painting at home. 

For more information about the Family Paint Night in Recognition of Orange Shirt Day, click here.

Mental Health Support for Indigenous Students

  • Hope for Wellness Help Line (https://www.hopeforwellness.ca/) provides immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all indigenous peoples in English, French, Cree, Ojibway or Inuktitut upon request. 1-855-242-3310. 
  • The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) offers a 24-hour Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Line with culturally specific mental health and addiction supports for adults, youth, and families in Ontario in both English and French, please call: 1-877-767-7572
  • Native Child and Family Services of Toronto  https://nativechild.org/
  • Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres https://ofifc.org/programs/health-wellness/ 
  • Talk 4 Healing www.talk4healing.com Helpline providing support, help and resources for Indigenous women in Ontario.
  • Anishnawbe Toronto www.aht.ca provides mental health counseling and traditional counseling that provides support which considers the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical needs of every individual.
  • CAMH Aboriginal Service The Aboriginal Service provides outpatient groups and individual counselling to Aboriginal people experiencing substance use and other mental health challenges.
  • Brighter Days: An Indigenous Wellness Program Brighter Days: An Indigenous Wellness Program by Kids Help Phone was developed by Indigenous experts to empower First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth with skills, tools and resources to support their well-being. 
  • The IRSRHSP has a National Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) that provides immediate emotional support for former Indian Residential School students.  Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • CAMH has also created this comprehensive list of supports: https://www.camh.ca//-/media/files/community-resource-sheets/aboriginal-resources-pdf.pdf

Begin Your Learning Journey

Learn more about National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and start your learning journey by exploring the rich and diverse cultures, voices, experiences and stories of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples by visiting the Government of Canada website.

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