National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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With sombre hearts, the Region of Durham recognizes and observes September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. On this day we memorialize and honour the children taken, the families left behind and the survivors of Canada’s residential school system.

Throughout this month, we encourage everyone to take some time and reflect on Canada’s legacy of colonialism; the ongoing violence and trauma inflicted on Indigenous communities; and to learn about actions we can take to work towards reconciliation from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action. Without addressing Canada’s tragic history, and its lasting impacts, we cannot move forward.

Participate

Committing to reconciliation involves learning about Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing, and creating genuine and meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities. It is only when we take these steps and embrace reconciliation in our hearts, minds and actions that we can truly create spaces for healing and understanding.

September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day. On this day we remember Phyllis Webstad’s experience at a residential school. Phyllis’ orange shirt was taken away, symbolic of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem of all Indigenous children.

Listen

We are encouraged to listen to the stories of survivors, and families of survivors, like April Andre and Joan Trudeau; to reaffirm that Every Child Matters and we have not forgotten about those left behind; and to commit to identifying acts of colonialism in our society and actively work towards eliminating them.


Remembering the Children Memorial - September 24 at 11:30 a.m.

With the advice and guidance of Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, Indigenous community members and organizations, a space has been created for reflection on Durham Regional Headquarters grounds. A blessing of the grounds will take place on September 1 at 10:30 a.m., where the commemorative orange crosswalk will be installed to honour and remember Indigenous children and families. The crosswalk will be unveiled to the public on September 24.

Memorial details

At a memorial on September 24 at 11:30 a.m., a commemorative orange crosswalk—designed by visual artist, Jon Colwell, a proud member of Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation—and accompanying plaque will be unveiled near the south entrance to the Durham Regional Headquarters building.

We will observe National Day for Truth and Reconciliation together to honour Indigenous children that have not returned home from residential schools, families left behind and survivors. We will hear some words of wisdom and guidance; and the All Our Relations Métis Drum Circle will honour the children and families through drumming and song.

Please access the grounds from the north entrance on Rossland Road. Follow the directional arrows to the south parking lot. We will meet at the entrance off Garden Street.

Subscribe for updates

Subscribe to this page to receive updates and new resources throughout the month of September.

With sombre hearts, the Region of Durham recognizes and observes September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. On this day we memorialize and honour the children taken, the families left behind and the survivors of Canada’s residential school system.

Throughout this month, we encourage everyone to take some time and reflect on Canada’s legacy of colonialism; the ongoing violence and trauma inflicted on Indigenous communities; and to learn about actions we can take to work towards reconciliation from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action. Without addressing Canada’s tragic history, and its lasting impacts, we cannot move forward.

Participate

Committing to reconciliation involves learning about Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing, and creating genuine and meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities. It is only when we take these steps and embrace reconciliation in our hearts, minds and actions that we can truly create spaces for healing and understanding.

September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day. On this day we remember Phyllis Webstad’s experience at a residential school. Phyllis’ orange shirt was taken away, symbolic of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem of all Indigenous children.

Listen

We are encouraged to listen to the stories of survivors, and families of survivors, like April Andre and Joan Trudeau; to reaffirm that Every Child Matters and we have not forgotten about those left behind; and to commit to identifying acts of colonialism in our society and actively work towards eliminating them.


Remembering the Children Memorial - September 24 at 11:30 a.m.

With the advice and guidance of Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, Indigenous community members and organizations, a space has been created for reflection on Durham Regional Headquarters grounds. A blessing of the grounds will take place on September 1 at 10:30 a.m., where the commemorative orange crosswalk will be installed to honour and remember Indigenous children and families. The crosswalk will be unveiled to the public on September 24.

Memorial details

At a memorial on September 24 at 11:30 a.m., a commemorative orange crosswalk—designed by visual artist, Jon Colwell, a proud member of Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation—and accompanying plaque will be unveiled near the south entrance to the Durham Regional Headquarters building.

We will observe National Day for Truth and Reconciliation together to honour Indigenous children that have not returned home from residential schools, families left behind and survivors. We will hear some words of wisdom and guidance; and the All Our Relations Métis Drum Circle will honour the children and families through drumming and song.

Please access the grounds from the north entrance on Rossland Road. Follow the directional arrows to the south parking lot. We will meet at the entrance off Garden Street.

Subscribe for updates

Subscribe to this page to receive updates and new resources throughout the month of September.
  • Understanding the lasting impacts of Canada’s Residential School System

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    As we approach September 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, it is important to acknowledge and understand the lasting impacts of Canada’s Residential School System. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concluded that, “residential schools were a systematic, government-sponsored attempt to destroy Indigenous cultures and languages and to assimilate Indigenous people so that they no longer existed as distinct peoples.” To move forward with reconciliation in our hearts, minds and actions, we need to be open and honest about our historic and contemporary relationship with the First Peoples of this land.

    View the resources below for more information on the history of the residential school system in Canada and the legacy they left behind:

    Throughout September, join Durham Region as we continue to listen, reflect and work toward reconciliation. To learn more, visit durham.ca/reconciliation.

  • Building meaningful relationships by understanding diverse Indigenous cultures

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    supporting image

    An important part of reconciliation is taking time to understand the diverse cultures of Indigenous Peoples. In Canada, there are three distinct Indigenous communities: First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Indigenous communities each have their own unique and distinct cultural heritage. Review the resources below to learn more about diverse Indigenous cultures:

    Throughout September, join Durham Region as we continue to listen, reflect and work toward reconciliation. To learn more, visit durham.ca/reconciliation.

  • Learn more about land acknowledgements and why you should create one

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    Land acknowledgements are a traditional practice used to recognize and express gratitude to the First Peoples of the land for their past, present and future guardianship and care of the territories on which we live and work.

    In recent years, land acknowledgements have been shared at the beginning of meetings and gatherings by non-Indigenous communities as an act of reconciliation. They provide us with an opportunity to acknowledge and address the history of the land, and our relationship and responsibilities to the land.

    The importance of land acknowledgements


    Watch this video to learn more about:

    • What a land acknowledgment is.
    • Why it is important.
    • How to create one.

    Supporting resources

    Committing to reconciliation involves learning about Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing. By understanding Canada’s tragic history and its lasting impacts, you can create a land acknowledgment that acknowledges the original rights holders of the lands. Below are resources to learn more:

    Throughout September, join Durham Region as we continue to listen, reflect and work toward reconciliation. To learn more, visit durham.ca/reconciliation.

Page last updated: 28 Sep 2022, 09:00 AM