National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: An opportunity for Canadians to learn more about the painful legacy of residential schools
On this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) honours Indigenous, First Nations, and Métis peoples whose lives and communities were shattered by the legacy of colonialism.
The CRRF pays tribute to the thousands of children who were abused in the residential school system and the thousands who never came home. Racism and intolerance allowed these atrocities to continue unchecked for decades.
This National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a reminder that no society should allow discrimination to undermine human rights. The residential school system is a shameful heritage that speaks to systemic injustices that must be accounted for.
“We must confront the reality of the horrors that occurred on the sites of residential schools. The testimonies of survivors and the discovery of unmarked graves should make us all long for justice and remain committed to walking the path of Reconciliation,” said Mohammed Hashim, Executive Director of the CRRF.
The CRRF encourages all Canadians to do their part towards learning Canada’s true history, including the generational harm caused by the racism and colonialism of the residential school system. A poll conducted by Abacus Data for the CRRF and the Assembly of First Nations last year showed that only 34% of Canadians were very or quite familiar with the residential school system, and that 62% of Canadians said not enough was being taught in schools about the issue.
There are many events taking place to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, including a virtual tour of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School, hosted by the Woodland Cultural Centre, in cooperation with the CRRF.
The virtual tour will take place on October 6th, from 1:30 p.m.- 3:30 p.m EST. The CRRF would like to thank the Woodland Cultural Centre for providing this opportunity to learn more about the conditions that children had to endure.
In addition to the virtual tour, we are also launching a webinar learning series with the First Peoples Group, an Indigenous training firm based in Ottawa. Through this series, we hope to increase understanding of one’s roles/responsibilities and key strategies to advance Reconciliation. The webinar series launches today, with the first video titled, “Land Acknowledgements: An Entry Point to Reconciliation”. Watch it now here.
The CRRF is grateful to the First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples with whom CRRF has been able to learn from and work alongside throughout the years. There is much more to learn, to unlearn and to take action on. The CRRF is committed to honouring this responsibility through a focus on reconciliACTION.