The Government of Canada recently passed legislation to make September 30th a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day provides an opportunity to observe and learn about the history and ongoing legacy of residential schools in Canada. You are invited to participate in a day of quiet reflection, or in a community event.
Indigenous Literature and Videos
There are many ways in which you can quietly observe what this day represents through materials and resources offered through libraries, and settlement organizations. Much of this information can be found on the NewToBC website under Useful Immigrant Settlement Guides and Websites.
- Welcome to our Homelands introduces viewers – particularly newcomers – to the vast richness of Indigenous people’s values and views, and the accompanying guide provides helpful information, links and terminology to increase awareness of Indigenous peoples in Canada. This video was produced by ISSofBC.
- The Surrey First Peoples Guide for Newcomers is a response to the call for accurate resources on First Peoples in Canada from an Indigenous perspective. This guide provides information on the traditional protocols, histories, and current realities of Indigenous, Metis, and Inuit people in Canada, and addresses common misconceptions about the First Peoples of this land. The guide is a project of the Surrey Local Immigration Partnership.
- First Peoples: A Guide for Newcomers aims to fill the need for clear information in simple language about the First Peoples in Vancouver. It introduces newcomers to three important topics: who are Aboriginal people (or First Peoples) in Vancouver and Canada; a brief overview of the relationship between the Government of Canada and First Peoples; and current initiatives and ways for newcomers to learn more about Aboriginal people in the community.”
- Native Land Digital strives to create and foster conversations about the history of colonialism, Indigenous ways of knowing, and settler-Indigenous relations. Native Land Digital creates spaces where non-Indigenous people can be invited and challenged to learn more about the lands they inhabit, the history of those lands, and how to actively be part of a better future going forward together.
Indigenous Activities and Events
- Getting Started: Truth and Reconciliation at the North Vancouver District Public Library. Learn more about what you can do to advance reconciliation and commit to understanding, accepting, and learning about Canada’s history. This session will provide recommendations of books and other resources that illuminate the atrocities and realities of the residential school system and their enduring legacy, to help you start your own self-directed learning plan.
- Storytelling Through Film: Celebrating Indigenous Creation with Kelly Roulette at the Vancouver Public Library. Join award-winning local Indigenous filmmaker Kelly Roulette to commemorate Orange Shirt Day with a screening of her short films My Mother My Rock and Sometimes She Smiles. Kelly will discuss her creative inspiration with Doreen Manuel, Director of Bosa Centre for Film and Animation at Capilano University, in a talk and question period to follow.
- Join acclaimed author David A. Robertson at the Fraser Valley Regional Library for a discussion about residential school history: how to talk about it at an age appropriate level, and the impacts of this history and how we can heal. David will read from one of his books about residential schools. This presentation is suitable for all ages.
- Join the Squamish Public Library in a Plant Walk with Tsawaysia Spukwus. You will learn about different plants that grow in our areas and their uses. Squamish Nation member and educator Tsawaysia Spukwus (Alice Guss) is masterful at bringing innovative learning opportunities to all people through workshops, drumming, singing, dancing and storytelling.
- Dial-a-Story: Indigenous Storytelling by Squamish Elders. Call in from your phone and enjoy a story told by a Squamish Elder. You can register by calling the Information Desk at the West Vancouver Memorial Library at at 604-925-7403. Presented in partnership with Squamish Nation Elder’s Centre as part of the Library’s Honouring Reconciliation initiative. Honouring Reconciliation is a program to honour the experiences of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, facilitate learning, and promote understanding of our shared history.
There are many ways to learn about Indigenous history, culture, and Canada’s commitment to reconciliation in Canada. We have listed a few, but encourage you to connect with your local library, or your local settlement organization for more information. The Government of Canada’s legislation will help to ensure that the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools is never forgotten.