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National Day for Truth & Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day)

Information and resources to support National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, on September 30th.

Films & Documentary Series

In Sarain Fox’s Anishinaabe culture, women lead the family. Her auntie, Mary Bell, is the oldest surviving matriarch, and she holds the family’s history: the stories, the trauma, the truth. She is a knowledge keeper. The Indigenous way is to sit with elders while they live. And Fox’s job, as the youngest in her family, is to carry on those ways.

Mary is a residential school survivor who worked with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to document the stories of other survivors. And now that she’s an elder, she’s focused on how those stories will live on. Elders are knowledge keepers, but they are also among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. The pandemic is threatening to cut a line of knowledge that has survived for generations. Fox reckons with this tension and her duty to sit with her auntie to document her stories before they are lost.

Garnet's Journey 
Garnet Angeconeb is an Anishnaabe man from the Lac Seul First Nation in Northern Ontario. He grew up on his family’s traditional territory, until the age of seven, when he was forced by the Government of Canada to go to Pelican Indian Residential School. Garnet suffered many negative effects of government policies in the decades following his years at the school. Despite those personal hardships, he became a journalist, a community leader, and a respected elder in both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. These are his stories.

8th Fire on CBC Curio 
With its energetic pace and stunning HD landscapes, 8th Fire propels us past prejudice, stereotypes and misunderstandings, to encounters with an impressive new generation of Indigenous people who are reclaiming both their culture and their confidence. We meet the emerging leaders, artists, activists and thinkers. We explore the best ideas for change. Above all, 8th Fire examines the way forward to a second chance to get the relationship right.

#Beyond94: Canada's Cultural Genocide of Indigenous Peoples 
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission spoke to thousands of survivors and found that what took place in residential schools in Canada amounted to the cultural genocide of Indigenous Peoples. So what changes have been made since then?

Treaties, Reconciliation and Indigenous History in Canada 
How well do Canadians know Indigenous history? What role did treaties play in forming our country? Are the stories told through truth and reconciliation changing our understanding of Canadian history?

Moderated by award-winning journalist Duncan McCue, host of Cross Country Checkup on CBC Radio, the panel includes Ry Moran, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation; Cynthia Wesley-Eskuimaux, Lakehead University; and Eldon Yellowhorn, Simon Fraser University

Holy Angels, NFB 
Jay Cardinal Villeneuve's short documentary Holy Angels powerfully recaptures Canada's colonialist history through impressionistic images and the fragmented language of a child. In 1963, Lena Wandering Spirit became one of the more than 150,000 Indigenous children who were removed from their families and sent to residential school. Villeneuve met Lena through his work as a videographer with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Wandering Spirit spent six years at the Holy Angels Residential School in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta. Against a backdrop of now-empty hallways and classrooms, fragments of memory return - the shadowy figures of nuns, bits of remembered catechism, and the nightmare sounds of the basement boiler. "They call us by number," she remembers. Wandering Spirit's experience, like that of many other adult survivors, remains jagged and bright with pain and fear. But other, deeper memories also endured - of running barefoot in summer and picking berries, of stories shared, and of the warmth and love of family. Five-year-old performer Phoenix Sawan brings Wandering Spirit's recollections to vivid life, dancing through an abandoned building in easy defiance of the bleak history of the place. Filmed with elegance, precision, and fierce determination to not only uncover history but move past it, Holy Angels speaks of the resilience of a people who have found ways of healing - and of coming home again.

Ryan McMahon's 12-Step Guide to Decolonizing Canada 
Ryan McMahon is is an Anishinaabe comedian and writer, and this is the first in his five-part guide to eliminating colonialism in Canada. He argues that we've been pretty good as a country at ignoring our not-so-pretty past, and many don't even believe Canada has a history of colonialism. But as he says, "It didn't just happen. It's ongoing."

All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward 
In her 2018 CBC Massey Lectures series, titled All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward, prize-winning journalist Tanya Talaga (author of Seven Fallen Feathers) explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples.

APTN's Future History series 
A documentary series that celebrates the reclamation of Indigenous knowledge and identity and challenges the colonial narrative. Hosted by dancer/activist Sarain Fox and Chief/artist Kris Nahrgang. Season 2 is now available!

The Secret Path 
This powerful animated film tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old Ojibwa boy who died of exposure in 1966 while running away from Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near Kenora, Ontario. The story is told through music by Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie and illustrations by graphic novelist Jeff Lemire. The Secret Path acknowledges a dark part of Canada's history - the long-suppressed mistreatment of Indigenous children and families by the residential school system - with the hope of engaging all Canadians in the reconciliation process. Winner of two 2018 Canadian Screen Awards.

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