Truth and Reconciliation
To honour children who never returned home from residential schools, survivors of residential schools, families and communities, September 30 is designated National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The day is also called Orange Shirt Day. The significance of the orange shirt is the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad. At the age of six in 1973, she was sent to the Mission School near Williams Lake, BC. Her first memory of that day was having all her clothes taken from her. Included in her clothing was a brand new orange shirt given to her by her grandmother. Can you imagine how hurtful that must have been for a six year old child away from her family and community for the first time? We now know even more horrific treatment of Indigenous children, including physical and sexual abuse, starvation and torture.
This day of commemoration is a vital part of reconciliation. As survivors and elders stated regarding reconciliation, “The first step must be involvement and support for the pursuit of the truth of the Indian Residential Schools and Day Schools.”
Read the letter from Bishop Andrew Asbil here
Many excellent sources of information regarding the truth of the Indian Residential Schools and Day Schools are available.
We were Children, a film based on true stories is available for viewing for less than $3.00. https://www.nfb.ca/film/we_were_children/
Another film We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice exposes generations of injustices endured by First Nations children living on reserves and their families. https://www.nfb.ca/film/we_can_t_make_the_same_mistake_twice/ is available free of charge.
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To commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, I invite you to learn at least one new truth about the Indian Residential Schools and Day Schools. In the words of our Primate, Archbishop Linda Nicholls, “We cannot change the choices and actions of the past. We can change the present by listening deeply to the truth about the past so that it will shed light to make a different future possible.”
The Rev. Evelyn Butler
Chair, Social Justice and Advocacy Committee
 A Statement from the Primate: Residential Schools, Burial sites, and the Anglican Church of Canada https://www.anglican.ca/news/a-statement-on-the-indian-residential-schools-from-indigenous-survivors-elders-and-leaders/30035756/