Truth and Reconciliation

Truth and Reconciliation

August 29, 2023

September 30th marks the annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. A time to reflect on the spirit of reconciliation, and to honor those who have been impacted by Canada’s residential school system.

We acknowledge that we work, play and live on the ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, where LaSalle College Vancouver stands.

It is vital to commemorate the history and ongoing impacts experienced by First Nations peoples as a crucial part of the reconciliation process. This day is also recognized as Orange Shirt Day, inspired by the story of Phyllis Webstad. a Residential School survivor who, on her first day at the St. Joseph's Mission Residential School in BC, was stripped of her clothing including a new orange shirt. Given to her by her grandmother. The orange shirts we wear today serve as a reminder: “Every Child Matters”, a way to remember the countless children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities.

It is the responsibility of all to learn about the shared history of all people who live on these lands and recognize your role in the process of truth and reconciliation. On September 30th, consider some of the following means to honor the day:

As artists, creators, educators, and students, here are some meaningfully engage with this commemorative occasion:

  • Educate Ourselves: If you’re not familiar with the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada, make a commitment to begin your learning journey. Numerous documentaries, books, and online resources shed light on the profound truths of Canada's past.
  • Wear an Orange Shirt: Symbolize your solidarity and understanding by donning an orange shirt. This simple act can spark conversations, raise awareness, and serve as a visual tribute to the Residential School survivors and those who never came back.
  • Engage in Artistic Expression: Explore the Indigenous art and the Indigenous art community, harness the power of art to tell stories, express emotions, and invoke change. Whether it’s through painting, music, design, or any other medium, let your creativity be a bridge to understanding and healing.
  • Participate in Community Events: Seek out events, vigils, or gatherings in Vancouver where you can join others in commemorating this day. Sharing and listening to personal stories can be a profound way to connect and understand.
  • Practice Reflection: Take a moment to reflect, meditate, or simply be in nature. This can be a personal way to honor the memories and the significance of the day.
  • Support Indigenous Art and Businesses: Embrace the rich tapestry of Indigenous art, culture, and enterprises. By doing so, you not only appreciate the beauty and depth of their contributions but also support their communities directly.
  • Expand your understanding: Learn more on the website of the Nation Council for truth and Reconciliation -Home - NCTR

If the weight of this history feels heavy on your heart, remember you're not alone. Reach out, communicate, and find solace in shared understanding and empathy.

Let us all pause on this day to understand and pledge our commitment to a future that genuinely embraces Truth and Reconciliation. May your day be filled with meaningful reflection, understanding, and hope.

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