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Orange Shirt Day | National Day for Truth & Reconciliation

Information and resources to support Orange Shirt Day on September 30th.

Land acknowledgement

Centennial College is proud to be a part of a rich history of education in this province and in this city. We acknowledge that we are on the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and pay tribute to their legacy and the legacy of all First Peoples of Canada, as we strengthen ties with the communities we serve and build the future through learning and through our graduates. Today the traditional meeting place of Toronto is still home to many Indigenous People from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work in the communities that have grown in the treaty lands of the Mississaugas. We acknowledge that we are all treaty people and accept our responsibility to honour all our relations.

A note on land acknowledgements, as per IIRH: "It's important to remember that these land acknowledgements can easily become a token gesture rather than a meaningful practice. All settlers, including recent arrivants, have a responsibility to consider what it means to acknowledge the history and legacy of colonialism." Read through the Indigenous Land Acknowledgement Social Action Card to ensure your land acknowledgment is meaningful and actionable. 

Attribution // Miigwetch

This guide was developed by several librarians and Centennial community members (both current and former) and we gratefully acknowledge their thoughtfulness, care, and expertise in the creation of this resource. We also acknowledge our colleagues in the Innovation, Inclusion, Reconciliation and Healing Portfolio (IIRH) and the work of Centennial College's Indigenous Strategic Framework in the development of this guide.

The guide is currently maintained by School of Advancement Librarian, Stephanie Power. Contact Stephanie if you have and questions, concerns, or comments.

CONTENT WARNING: Please be advised that this guide contains references to sensitive material, including violence, sexual assault, and abuse. Students can access 24 hour support from the Good2Talk Helpline at 1-866-925-5454. Support for staff is available through the Employee Family Assistance Program. Indian Residential School survivors and family may also wish to contact The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line at 1-800-721-0066, available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their Residential school experience.

Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth & Reconciliation

Photo by chris robert on Unsplash

The National Day for Truth & Reconciliation is the result of decades of work by several groups, including the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1991-1996), the Working Group on Truth and Reconciliation, and the Exploratory Dialogues (1998-1999) (click here to read about the origins of the TRCC). The work of these groups culminated in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history. As per Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, "one of the elements of the agreement was the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to facilitate reconciliation among former students, their families, their communities and all Canadians."

One of the TRCC's 94 Calls to Action (#80), was a call to establish a statutory holiday "to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process". In the summer of 2021, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was officially established by the federal government.

Getting Started

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission made the 94 calls to action.

Our Stories: First Peoples in Canada 
An open textbook created by a team at Centennial College for students in GNED 410, 411, and 412: First Peoples in Canada (formerly GNED 250, 251, 252).

The Indigenous Studies Portal (iPortal) is a database of full-text electronic resources such as books, articles, theses and documents as well as digitized materials such as photographs, archival resources, maps, etc. focusing primarily on First Nations, Métis and Inuit in Canada with a secondary focus on Indigenous people of Turtle Island and beyond.

Indigenous Canada, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) by the University of Alberta 
The University of Alberta's Indigenous Canada MOOC explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations. Indigenous Canada is for students from faculties outside the Faculty of Native Studies with an interest in acquiring a basic familiarity with Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal relationships

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