September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day, a day to recognize the tragic legacy and ongoing impacts of the residential school system for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada. As we continue the work to recognize and accept the reality of Canada’s colonial history, consider joining the following activities or initiatives to remember the children who never returned home; to recognize and support residential school survivors, their families and their communities; and to create the space for discussion and action on decolonization and Indigenization.
1. Free online Reconciliation online course open to students, staff, and faculty: Faculty of Education Massive Online Open Course on Reconciliation.
2. Learn from, reflect and amplify Indigenous stories from UBC’s resources HERE.
3. Orange Shirt Day events, educational resources, and wellness support initiatives are curated on a hub page hosted by the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre HERE.
4. Wear orange at SPPH to show your support. This year’s orange shirts (available at the UBC Bookstore and the MOA online shop) feature the work of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) artist təlnaq’ə (Alec Guerin). Hear him speak about his art practice, creative influences, and significance of the 2023 design. Profits from the sales will be donated to the Orange Shirt Society and the Indian Residential School Survivor Society.
5. Interested in learning more and supporting Indigenous health? Additional resources are available on Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health’s website.
As we commit to decolonization and a more equitable community, it is important for us to recognize our institution’s colonial origins, along with our responsibility to address the ways in which oppression and exclusion is perpetuated in our everyday lives as students, faculty, and staff at the School. While the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation might mean different things to different people, we hope to be united in listening, reflecting, and amplifying Indigenous voices today and beyond.