National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

This Thursday I invite you to wear orange and join me in learning and participating in events for the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

This year has been difficult as new evidence emerges of the ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples in Canada. From the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves of children at residential schools, to the continued oppression and targeted violence against Indigenous land defenders.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation honours the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities.

"Let this be our chance to connect as a community, learn the truth, feel the pain, reconcile the past, and change the future."
-- Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre

A good comparison is to consider this a solemn day to reflect "in the same vein as Remembrance Day," as suggested by Indigenous author, Michelle Good.

It is the responsibility of each of us to bear witness, to learn, and then to be a catalyst for positive change. I thought I'd share some resources and events that are happening over the next few days.

In-person events

Please remember to follow covid protocols. Wear a mask, and maintain six feet of social distance to keep everyone in our communities safe.

Truth and Reconciliation Commemoration Event
WHEN: 1pm to 3pm, Thursday 30th September
WHERE: Osiyam Pavillion, Squamish BC

Xweýene:msta:m ?əkwəsqwel, seýeḿ
Translation: call to witness / listen to respected one
A performance to honour Orange Shirt Day hosted by Vancouver Aquarium
WHEN: 12pm, Thursday 30th September
WHERE: šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square (formerly known as the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza), Vancouver BC

Drum for the children
Learn the Sewépemc Honour Song. Drum and sing for the children.
WHEN: 2:15pm, Thursday 30th September
WHERE: Lafarge Lake at the Community Plaza, Coquitlam BC

Intergenerational march to commemorate Orange Shirt Day
WHEN: 11:45am to 2:00pm, Thursday 30th September
WHERE: Outside the UBC Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, UBC, Vancouver BC


Virtual events

Honouring Residential School Survivors
Honour and listen to Squamish Nation Elders who are survivors of Canada’s Indian Residential School system.
WHEN: 7pm to 8:30pm, Wednesday 29th September
WHERE: via zoom

Paddles Up: an honour guard for the children
An online panel discussion about Indigenous history from a maritime perspective
WHEN: 6:30pm to 8:30pm, Thursday 30th September
WHERE: via zoom

Drum for the children
Watch the video to learn the Sewépemc Honour Song. Drum and sing for the children.
WHEN: 2:15pm, Thursday 30th September
WHERE: anywhere


Resources for learning

Sk̲wx̲wú7mesh L̓il̓wat7úl Cultural Centre has compiled a list of book recommendations to learn more about the issues facing Indigenous peoples. More resources are available on their blog.

Nahanee Creative has online workbooks on decolonization, territorial acknowledgements, and more.


Ways to support Indigenous organizations

At the end of all our emails we typically have a donate button. In honour of the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, I invite you to instead donate to Indigenous organizations.

Sk̲wx̲wú7mesh L̓il̓wat7úl Cultural Centre
SLCC shares two distinct cultures as a means to foster greater understanding of Indigenous peoples around the world.

Kwi Awt Stelmexw
Support language and arts development in the Squamish Nation.

Gidemt'en Yintah Access
Support Indigenous Land Defenders working to stop new fracked gas pipelines in Gidimt’en and Wet'suwet'en territory.

Or find a local Indigenous organization close to you.


Thank you for learning with me with an open heart and an open mind.

Eva Garofalo

Campaign Coordinator, My Sea to Sky

We respectfully acknowledge that we work in the traditional, unceded territories and ancestral lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

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