By Shannon Curley, published November 4th, 2021
September 30th marked Canada’s first official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a federal statutory day of commemoration first called for in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 Calls to Action.
On the 29th, the hallways of Alpha were turned into seas of orange as countless students showed their recognition of the centuries-long abuse and discrimination inflicted upon Indigenous Peoples, which continues to impact all of our communities to this day. Alpha was fortunate enough to be visited by Elder Alroy Baker K’etximtn, who shared his personal experiences via a virtual assembly.
Orange Shirt Day, the predecessor for Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, first began in 2013, and has, over time, become further recognized across the country. This year, the movement has seen far greater support due in part to the establishment of the statutory holiday on the 30th, as well as the recent discoveries of approximately 1,300 unmarked graves of mistreated Indigenous children at the sites of former Indian Residential Schools across Canada.
Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation proves to be a crucial reminder that we must continue to progress in terms of decolonization and the fight for the rights and equality of Indigenous Peoples across Canada.