Friday, September 30th is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and is also known as Orange Shirt Day. To find out more about this day, and how it is being acknowledged by the Federal Government, head here.
At St Pius, we are preparing to acknowledge this day on the weekend of September 24th and 25th. Please join us in the hall following each Mass for some information displays and a simple reception. Our Indigenous Relations Committee have been working hard over the past few months to educate our community on the path of reconciliation, and they look forward to welcoming you.
They have compiled a number of resources you may find helpful, available below:
- The history and legacy of the Residential Schools that approximately 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children attended between 1831 and 1996:
Canada’s Dark Secret, a documentary by Al Jazeera about residential schools, including the Mohawk Institute (located in Brantford).
Dennis Saddleman reading his poem Monster about the Kamloops Residential School he was forced to attend as a child.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action.
Calls to Action 58-61 are specific to the churches (including the Catholic church).
- When the residential schools closed, child welfare became more involved in the communities. This led to:
The Sixties Scoop refers to the mass removal of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children from their homes and communities by Canadian child welfare authorities and adoption primarily by middle-class white families in Canada and the US.
The Millennial Scoop by child welfare refers to the alarmingly high numbers of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children in the foster care system in Canada from the 1980’s to today. In 2016, 52.2% of the children in foster care were indigenous while representing only 7.7% of the Canadian population. This means that there are more children in foster care today in Canada than were ever in a Residential School.
First Nations Caring Society
Dr. Cindy Blackstock is part of this group. It is based in Ottawa. From the website: The Caring Society works to ensure the safety and well-being of First Nations youth and their families through education initiatives, public policy campaigns and providing quality resources to support communities. Using a reconciliation framework that addresses contemporary hardships for Indigenous families in ways that uplift all Canadians, the Caring Society champions culturally based equity for First Nations children and their families so that they can grow up safely at home, be healthy, achieve their dreams, celebrate their languages and culture and be proud of who they are. The Caring Society proudly works with our partners in Canada and around the world to promote the rights of Indigenous children.
Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund
From the website: Inspired by Chanie’s story and Gord’s call to build a better Canada, the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Our goal is to improve the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education, and connections between all peoples in Canada.
The website contains a list of possible ReconciliACTIONS we each can do to advance reconciliation. This Fund is based in Ohsweken (Six Nations).
Indian Residential School Survivors Society
Provides support to residential school survivors across Canada, including a 24 hour crisis line. It is based in BC.
Listening to Indigenous Voices: A dialogue guide on justice and right relationship, created by the Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice. There are many resources available on their website.
From the website: Born from the vision of Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Gwawaenuk Elder, Reconciliation Canada is leading the way in engaging Canadians in dialogue and transformative experiences that revitalize the relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians. Our model for reconciliation engages people in open and honest conversation to understand our diverse histories and experiences. We actively engage multi-faith and multi-cultural communities to explore the meaning of reconciliation. Together, we are charting a New Way Forward.
4-Seasons of Reconciliation
Online course. Fee required. From the website: Learn about the history and culture of Indigenous communities in Canada, the history of residential schools, and treaties around the country.
Upon completion of this 3-hour, multimedia course, you will receive a certificate of completion.
Survivor’s Secretariat (Six Nations)
Can subscribe to the newsletter for updates on the search of the grounds of the Mohawk Institute.
Woodland Cultural Centre
Located in Brantford. Provides virtual tours of the Mohawk Institute, among many other activities.