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While September 30th has been a day to reflect on the legacy of residential schools since Orange Shirt Day began in 2013, this coming Thursday will mark the first observance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.
Legislation proclaiming this new annual federal statutory holiday was passed in June, in response to Call to Action 80 in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report which states:
“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.”
Electronic access to the TRC’s entire final report and the Calls to Action are available through the Geoffrey R Weller Library’s catalogue, along with print copies of the final report. As well, the library has extensive resources available on the history of residential schools and reconciliation, along with broader subjects including indigenous art, culture, and language.
You can stop by the library to browse a few of the available selections as part of our first floor display honouring National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, including the items featured below.
While the library will be closed on Thursday to mark the holiday, UNBC’s Office of the President and Office of Indigenous Initiatives will be hosting a virtual Truth and Reconciliation Talking Circle at 10am over zoom for those looking to participate in a community event on September 30th. For more information, visit the First Nations Centre’s event page and follow the zoom link.
The National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation is hosting a week-long virtual event from September 27th to October 1st, 2021. For more information take a look at the schedule for the general public, and to register visit the event page and click on “Register Now with Eventbrite.”
The recent and continued discoveries of unmarked graves at residential school sites makes this first day for Truth and Reconciliation especially emotional. Please take some time to reflect and remember the young lives lost, and those forever altered by the Canadian residential school system.
If you or someone you know needs support, please contact the National Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419, or visit the Indian Residential School Survivor Society's website for more resources.
Geoffrey R. Weller LibraryUniversity of Northern British Columbia3333 University WayPrince George, B.C. V2N 4Z9
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