Ways to mark #NDTR

The first National Day for For Truth and Reconciliation (2021) takes place Thursday, September 30, 2021. 

This important day is dedicated to learning, healing, and building a more inclusive Canada where all Canadians recommit to understanding the past and act with knowledge and compassion.  

We invite you to pause at 2:15 pm for 2 minutes and 15 seconds to honour the 215 Indigenous people (children and adults) found in the first unmarked grave in Kamloops, BC earlier this year. 

There is important work to be done to overcome the legacy of residential schools and the colonization of Indigenous peoples.  The IOG is committed to undertaking this work to help build a brighter future for all.  We are sharing materials we have assembled to help IOG employees with their reconciliation journey and we encourage you to share any learnings or actions you might take on September 30th. 

  • The Canadian EncyclopediaThe Canadian Encyclopedia: Residential School Podcast Series. It focuses on Gordon’s Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan, featuring the stories of two survivors, Riley Burns and Ed Bitternose. Warning: Contains content that some might find triggering. Focuses on the sexual assault and abuse that students experienced in the residential schools.
  • We are All One Namwayut: we are all one. Truth and reconciliation in Canada. Chief Robert Joseph shares his experience as a residential school survivor and the importance of truth and reconciliation in Canada. The images in the video are effective and it provides a strong overview of what survivors experienced. It has a positive tone towards the end that focuses on everyone cheering each other on as we move toward a more positive future. Speaks of the Cultural Genocide, while noting notes that Canada is the only western country to create a Truth and Reconciliation Committee to further the change and accountability needed. 
  • The Stranger This video recounts the tragic story of Chanie Wenjack, who escaped residential school and tried to walk 600 km to return to his family but died tragically en route. In this video, singer Gord Downie recounts Chanie’s experience. 
  • Short podcast on Residential Schools Residential Schools in Canada: A Timeline. This podcast provides a timeline of the residential school system and a good overview of what occurred and the decisions that were made. It would be a wonderful learning piece for families with school-aged children to watch together. 
  • Podcast on Truth and Reconciliation This is a very educational, relatively short podcast that helps highlight some of the commonly used terms and explain the reasons why education is needed. It helps explain why it’s so important to educate ourselves on this important topic. Shawna Cunningham is the Director of the Indigenous Strategy for the Office of the Vice-Provost (Indigenous Engagement) and the former director of the Native Centre at the University of Calgary. Shawna is Métis/Cree, born and raised in Southern Alberta.
  • Telling our Twisted Histories This podcast series features Indigenous speakers talking about stereotypes, explaining how certain events actually happened and giving the real story behind them. For example, the episode ‘Pocahontas’ introduced the real story about Pocahontas, who she really was, why Indigenous people hate being referred to as Pocahontas and are disappointed about how the story is portrayed by Disney. In real life, Pocahontas was taken by her family in one of the first cases of the settlers stealing women from their homes and treating them horribly, quite the opposite of the Disney portrayal.
  • Canada’s Residential Schools
    Watch this video about Canada’s residential schools, introduced by Phyllis Webstad, the residential school survivor who sparked the Orange Shirt movement. It’s very informative, highlights the past and gives an overview of reconciliation as well. 
  • Watch this video featuring Justice Murray Sinclair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission speaking about the impacts of Residential Schools on the individuals who attended and the communities they came from. 
  • Historica Canada – Métis Experiences.  Listen to this podcast to learn about the “forgotten people” in the residential school experience. ** Warning – Testimony from Residential Survivors can be triggering to hear.**
  • 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission These 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission cover all the areas that our society needs to review and modify in order to include our Indigenous communities
  • Native Land: A beautiful resource to demonstrate the diversity within diversity – all the different Indigenous territories and languages without colonial boarders.
  • Indigenous Canada a free course on Indigenous history offered by the University of Alberta
  • A film by Gord Downie
  • We Will Walk Together/Skàtne Entewathahìta: An event held by McGill University, September 30th, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
    Location: Streamed from First Peoples’ House – Register for the free event here to receive the Zoom link.
    Description: A series of talks, discussions, performers, led by Elder Geraldine Standup (Traditional Healer, Kahnawa:ke), on the theme of Hope and Healing. Guests include throat singer Nina Segalowitz and youth from St. Edmund Elementary School.
  • Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (TteS) has invited people around the world to pause and pick up a drum at 2:15 pm on September 30th, Canada’s first-ever National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. The invitation was made at an online media conference Friday morning (Sept. 17). The event is being held in response to what the band calls “a global outpouring of interest and support” after it was announced that ground-penetrating radar had been used to identify over 200 potential gravesites located on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.