What action will you take to support the 94 calls to action to advance reconciliation?
Thank you for stopping by. We have carefully curated a list of suggested actions and resources to get you started in your thinking and reflection on how you can contribute to efforts that will advance reconciliation in Canada. If you have questions or ideas to add to this list, email us at the Yellow House Centre for Student Equity & Inclusion today.
September 30th has been known as Orange Shirt Day since 2013. The significance of the Orange Shirt comes from former student Phyllis (Jack) Webstad recalling her first day at a residential school where her brand new orange shirt, from her grandmother, was taken away. The date of September 30th was chosen as this was the time of year in which children were taken from their homes and put in residential schools. "[...]to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Chief Justice Murray Sinclair challenged all of the participants to keep the reconciliation process alive, as a result of the realization that every former student had similar stories."
In July of 2021, the Canadian Government announced that September 30th would now be a statutory holiday - National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This change comes as a response to call to action #80, from the 2015 report, from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. "We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 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."
Events honouring National Day for Truth and Reconciliation through the Office of Indigenous Initiatives.
- Listen more. Talk less.
- Ask yourself if stereotypes about Indigenous people align with your beliefs
- When reflecting on LGBTQ issues, always include Two-Spirited peoples (2SLGBTQ+). You can learn more at the Rainbow Resource Centre.
- Educate yourself around the issue of carding and consider its unique implications on urban Indigenous populations.
- Write a letter to your local RCMP Officer in Charge, local Police Chief and/or City Council to inquire about how the police force is actively engaged in fostering connections with local Indigenous communities. If they are not doing so, ask that they start.
- Write to your local MP or MPP and ask how their team and platform is working to advance the 94 calls to action.
- Take the Indigenous Canada Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to gain a familiarity with Indigenous/non-Indigenous relationships.
- Check out Lakehead University Orange Shirt Day resources.
Inspire group learning activities on your team / in your club / within your network
- Host a Kitchen Table Dialogue with this Kitchen Table Discussion Guide:
A Kitchen Table Dialogue creates space for constructive conversation in the comfort of a community or cultural space, or colleague’s home. This do-it-yourself framework provided by Reconciliation Canada allows Indigenous peoples and all Canadians the opportunity to gather their friends, family, neighbours and/or colleagues and join the dialogue on reconciliation and the movement towards a new way forward for all peoples in Canada.
- Organize a Kairos Blanket Exercise Workshop to explore Indigenous rights history we've never been taught:
The Blanket Exercise uses Indigenous methodologies to build understanding about our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada by walking through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. Bookings are available November 15th and onwards.
Take in Indigenous perspectives through literature, art and podcasts.
- Augie Merasty’s The Education of Augie Merasty
A courageous and intimate memoir, The Education of Augie Merasty is the story of a child who faced the dark heart of humanity, let loose by the cruel policies of a bigoted nation.
- Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton’s Fatty Legs: A True Story
The moving memoir of an Inuit girl who emerges from a residential school with her spirit intact.
- Mini Adola Freeman’s Life Among the Qallunaat
The story of Mini Aodla Freeman’s experiences growing up in the Inuit communities of James Bay and her journey in the 1950s from her home to the strange land and stranger customs of the Qallunaat, those living south of the Arctic. Her extraordinary story, sometimes humorous and sometimes heartbreaking, illustrates an Inuit woman’s movement between worlds and ways of understanding. It also provides a clear-eyed record of the changes that swept through Inuit communities in the 1940s and 1950s.
- Chelsea Vowel’s Indigenous Writes: A GUIDE TO FIRST NATIONS, MÉTIS, & INUIT ISSUES IN CANADA
Chelsea Vowel opens an important dialogue on social beliefs associated with the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada. In 31 essays, Chelsea explores the Indigenous experience from the time of contact to the present, through five categories—Terminology of Relationships; Culture and Identity; Myth-Busting; State Violence; and Land, Learning, Law, and Treaties.
- Residential School/Project of the Heart | Strong Nations
An inquiry based, hands-on, collaborative, inter-generational, artistic journey of seeking truth about the history of Aboriginal people in Canada.
- Residential Schools reading list | Indigo
Simply search ‘residential schools’ and be met with hundreds of options.
- 108 Indigenous writers to check out | CBC Books
- FOLD, the Festival of Literary Diversity
tweeted names of several Indigenous authors you should know. Many readers got in the spirit and shared their own recommendations.
- 15 memoirs by Indigenous writers you need to read | CBC Books
Love memoirs? CBC has curated a list of 15 personal stories by Indigenous writers living in Canada and the United States.
- Indigenous Stories reading list | Indigo
A collection of books featuring Indigenous voices.
- Molly Swain and Chelsea Vowel’s Métis in Space podcast
Unapologetically Indigenous, unabashedly female and unblinkingly nerdy.
- Ryan McMahon’s Indian & Cowboy Podcast
The world’s premiere member supported Indigenous podcast network.
- Media Indigena Podcasts
Podcasts that inspire and conspire with those sharing a passion for advancing the well-being of Indigenous people.
- All My Relations Podcast
A podcast that explores what it means to be a Native person in 2019. To be an Indigenous person is to be engaged in relationships—relationships to land and place, to a people, to non-human relatives, and to one another. All My Relations is a place to explore those relationships, and to think through Indigeneity in all its complexities.
- Unreserved with Rosanna Deerchild
Unreserved is the radio space for Indigenous community, culture, and conversation. Host Rosanna Deerchild takes you straight into Indigenous Canada, from Halifax to Haida Gwaii, from Shamattawa to Ottawa, introducing listeners to the storytellers, culture makers and community shakers from across the country.
Read and watch to learn the 101 on Residential Schools in Canada
- Watch: The Whole Truth About Residential Schools: Then and Now Webinar Series
- Read: Timeline of Residential Schools – The Canadian Encyclopedia
- Read: The Residential School System – University of British Columbia
- Watch: Residential School Survivor Talks About the Electric Chair at St. Anne’s School CBC
- Read: An Overview of the Indian Residential School System
- Watch: Death at Residential Schools
- Watch: Intergenerational Trauma: Residential Schools
You may have heard it in the news– but if you haven’t made time to pause and read these reports do so now to provide a platform for thoughtful engagement in dialogue and change making efforts.
- The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation has highlighted the following report for the country’s attention as there is more work to be done and more children to be found to honour and protect them: Where are the Children Buried by Dr. Scott Hamilton
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports: a number of reports were released through the TRC and are widely available to the public. We have identified a selection for your review. All reports can be found on the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website.
- Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future (2015): Summary of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada.
- What We Have Learned (2015): Principles of Truth and Reconciliation
- The Survivors Speak (2015): A Report of the TRC of Canada.
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (2015): In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission makes 94 calls to action.
- Canada’s Residential Schools: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials (2016): The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Volume 4.
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Reports
- Lessons Learned Survivors Perspectives (2020): A report on the Survivors experiences and Lessons Learned related to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
- Modern reports issued in recent years related to the Residential School system.
- Independent Assessment Process Final Report (2015): Issued by the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) Oversight Committee.
- Canadian Public Opinion on Aboriginal Peoples (2016): A national survey of non-Aboriginal Canadians.
- Indigenous Resilence, Connectedness and Reunification (2016): A Report on Indigenous Child Welfare in British Columbia.
- Learn about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission at Queen’s: The TRC released its final report in December 2015 on the history and legacy of Canada’s Indian Residential School system. The report includes 94 calls to action. In response, a university-wide task force was established to respond to the TRC calls to action directed at post-secondary institutions and develop a set of proposals that support our Indigenous students, staff, and faculty; enhance academic programs and research related to Indigenous peoples and experiences; and create a welcoming and culturally validating learning environment.