National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 2022
Ted and I, and our offices for Life and Death Matters headquarters are located on the traditional and unceded territory of the W̱ SÁNEĆ First Nations, whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day. We are grateful for friends and neighbours from the Tsawout, Tsartlip, Paquachin and Tsyecum communities.
In Canada, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation honours the children who never returned home from residential schools, the survivors of residential schools, and acknowledges the effects of residential schools on their families and communities.
This day provides space or encourages reflection, and invitation to learn and understand more about the challenges of residential schools, as well as policies that negatively impacted Indigenous people, their families, and their culture.
During COVID I was speaking with a dear friend, a First Nations woman from the W̱ SÁNEĆ Tsartlip community. She talked of her frustration regarding the lack of education and understanding of many of her settler friends. Together we developed what became known as a book club, “Seeking to Understand: A journey of education in support of reconciliation.” We met every two weeks on a Sunday evening, and led by Sharon, Carl and Joni, we read books, we listened, we asked guest speakers to share, and we started to understand.
One book that the entire group found helpful, and that I highly recommend as a good starting place is, “The Inconvenient Indian” by Thomas King. I wonder if you have a favourite book that facilitated your understanding?
We were honoured to have the creators of Orange Shirt Day speak to us, and in the coming weeks we are really excited to help offer the “Blanket Exercise” in our faith community.
In the coming weeks, and on September 30th, we will be wearing orange shirts, to acknowledge the challenges, and consider ways that we can continue to work towards reconciliation and healing.
1. The term “Indigenous” is used here to include all people who identify as First Nation, Inuit, Metis and Urban Indigenous.