Kwey Kwey, She:kon, Taanshi, Ullaquut and Hello,
September 30 is Orange Shirt Day, Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
It is an annual day of remembrance to mark the history and intergenerational impacts of residential and day schools and to honour their survivors, including Phyllis Webstad, whose story sparked a national movement.
The legacy of Canada’s residential school system lies not in our distant past. It is recent enough that some current Carleton students are survivors. Intergenerational trauma is felt by many First Nations, Inuit and Metis people.
Carleton will fly an Every Child Matters flag and community members are encouraged to wear orange Every Child Matters shirts to commemorate the day, and to take time to meaningfully reflect on the responsibilities we all have in conciliation in Canada — on Sept. 30 and beyond.
Carleton is committed to conciliation, as outlined in Kinàmàgawin, a revitalized long-term Indigenous strategy with 41 calls to action to make our university a more welcoming space for current and future Indigenous students and faculty members. All Carleton students, staff and faculty are encouraged to stay informed and engaged and to read the recently released Kinàmàgawin Progress Report.
This year, for Orange Shirt Day, we have created a dedicated web page with background information as well as links to articles and events, including a Lived Experience Luncheon with Elder Albert Dumont on Sept. 28 and an unveiling ceremony for The Journey of the Baby Vamp: Honouring the Lives of the Missing Children From Residential Schools on Sept. 30.
Ongoing learning and allyship by non-Indigenous people are critical to conciliation.
To support this journey, Carleton’s Centre for Indigenous Support and Community Engagement is continuing its Kinàmàgawin Indigenous Learning Certificate program this fall and winter. Participants in these workshops discuss anti-Indigenous racism in Canada, institutional anti-Indigenous racism and education, and Indigenous student experiences, among other subjects.
For Indigenous members of the Carleton community who are struggling on this day, there are resources available from the Centre for Indigenous Support and Community Engagement. Indigenous counselors are available to help. Or please call the Residential School Survivor Support Line at 1-866-925-4419, which is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
To all members of the Carleton community, please take time on Orange Shirt Day — and every day — to meaningfully reflect, learn and take action towards conciliation in Canada.
Kahente Horn-Miller, Assistant Vice-President, Indigenous Teaching, Learning and Research
Benny Michaud, Director, Centre for Indigenous Support and Community Engagement
Jerry Tomberlin, Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
Co-Chairs, Carleton University Strategic Indigenous Initiatives Committee
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