September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation which grew from Orange Shirt Day, an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day to raise awareness of those impacted by residential schools. It is a time to honour thousands of Indigenous children who did not return home as well as the survivors, their families, and the resilience of their communities.
We encourage you to demonstrate your commitment to challenging oppressive systems by wearing an orange shirt or sticker. There are also opportunities to explore the rich, diverse cultures of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples happening across Guelph-Wellington.
There are 94 calls to action in the final report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. From the stories and experiences of those directly and indirectly affected by residential schools, we learn that each of us have a role to play in fostering reconciliation and healing.
To explore the diverse cultures of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples you may wish to participate in some of the events listed below.
Guelph Museums and the Guelph Film Festival are co-presenting a public screening of The Nature of Healing, in collaboration with JamLab Productions, on September 30th from 1 – 3 p.m. Following the screening, audience members can participate in a dialogue with Faith Howe/JamLab Productions, Kimber Sider/Guelph Film Festival, and Dawn Owen/Guelph Museums. Tickets are free and spots can be reserved online.
The City of Guelph will be hosting a flag raising and market square lighting event from 7 – 11:30 p.m. on September 30th. To participate stop by 1 Carden Street.
Take a walk through the Mtigwaaki Trail in the University of Guelph Arboretum. Engage with the land and learn from interpretive signs that explore the understanding of the forest from an Anishinabek perspective and call us to act on how we can better treat Mother Earth.
Listen to Indigenous stories read virtually by James Gordon from the Guelph Public Library on September 29th from 10:30 – 10:45 a.m. Register online to receive an event link via email.
Join the Southwestern Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre in Dolph Pavilion, Cambridge on September 30th from 6 – 8 p.m. for an Orange Shirt Day event. Participants are encouraged to wear orange.
We acknowledge that we still have a long way to go in recognizing the deep damage Indigenous peoples have suffered under colonial and postcolonial policies in Canada. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation provides us with an opportunity to have important conversations, and we hope you take this time to listen and reflect on to how we all can better support Indigenous communities.
Karen Suk-Patrick, Vice President, People & Support Services
Guelph General Hospital