On September 30, Legal Aid BC will observe the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We will be closed to enable employees to reflect on the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, and to honour the survivors, their families and communities.
The day gives us time to think about the impact our colonial past, and present, has on Indigenous peoples in Canada. At LABC, we are encouraging employees, including those of us on the executive team, to respond in some way. I plan to participate in the Kamloops event Drum for the children. Our Indigenous Services manager offers some more suggestions of things all of us can do below.
National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is an opportunity to create meaningful conversations with our friends and family about the effects of residential schools, and what the path towards truth and reconciliation means to us.
In the days before and after Truth and Reconciliation Day, LABC will also take time to consider what we can do better for Indigenous peoples who come to us seeking legal help, and are caught in a justice system that is not always just.
Every child matters.
Mark Benton, CEO
Legal Aid BC
Some of the things you can do:
- Download the mobile app: Reconciliation: A Starting Point.
- Read Beyond the Orange Shirt Story, a book by Phyllis Webstad, the founder of Orange Shirt Day. Find out more here.
- Donate to the Orange Shirt Society here. Donations help Phyllis Webstad and the Orange Shirt Society raise awareness across Canada about the Indian Residential Schools and their continuing impacts.
- Donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
- Watch Every Child Matters – Act One and Act Two on National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation YouTube channel.
- Join the Prairie Federal Council and the Canada School of Public Service on September 29, 2021 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm (ET) for a virtual event on the lived experiences of residential school survivors and their communities. Register here.
- If you have children, join them in participating in Truth and Reconciliation Week 2021, a 5-day national event that will include conversations about the Indigenous treaties, First Nation, Métis and Inuit land claims and the residential school system. Register here.