Content Warning: Discussion of genocide, violence, trauma.
Today is Orange Shirt Day: the annual day of remembrance and honouring ofthe Indigenous children that were stolen from their families and placed in residential schools or foster homes. It signifies healing for Indigenous communities across the nation and the active commitment of settlers to reconciliation. You can learn more about the event from the official website.
During the formation of Canada, the First Nations faced successive injustices with the aim of eliminating their culture and adopting European ways. For a detailed account of actions committed by the government and actions that need to be taken for justice to be served, visit the Truth and Reconciliation Committee's Executive Report and their Calls to Action.
Systemic racism continues to disadvantage these groups today with discrimination, the cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirited people, health disparities, housing and employment concerns, and food insecurity.
I urge you to do three things in the spirit of healing and reconciliation:
Think about what reconciliation means to you and come up with at least one way you can contribute to healing relationships with our Indigenous Peoples.
This Orange Shirt Day, remember that we are all treaty people, and we all have a role to play in creating a respectful, sustainable, and successful future together.