Ways to learn and engage with Indigenous history
Canada has a very long, undeniable history of racism.
While many BIPOC are well aware of this, no community has experienced this more than Indigenous Peoples. As more discoveries about the atrocities that occurred in residential schools emerge, Canada has announced its first official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
On September 30, honour those who have been affected by residential schools by learning about the significance of the day, decolonizing your thinking, and engaging meaningfully with the Indigenous history of this country.
Below are just some of the resources that you can begin with in order to lean in, listen, and learn this September 30.
Learn Indigenous history
- Read the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation report
- Learn about the history of residential schools, hear stories from survivors, and find more resources to keep conversations going
- Watch and listen to stories from residential school survivors, as well as other content that showcases First Nations, Métis, and Inuit perspectives and experiences
- Learn the story of Phyllis Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation and the origin of Orange Shirt Day. Because before September 30th was announced as the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, it was Orange Shirt Day; learn the story of this day.
Engage with the Indigenous story
- Talk about residential schools and confront denial, minimization, and misinformation
- Practice decolonizing behaviour and anti-racist communications to everyday life
- Confront what it means to be a settler of colour on Indigenous lands
- Follow Indigenous creators, activists, and businesses such as Indiginews, consultant, leader, and speaker Len Pierre, and populate your social media with Indigenous voices. For some Instagram accounts, start here. Or if TikTok is up your alley, try this.
- Attend events on the topics of truth and reconciliation led by the Indigenous community
More than just one day
The trauma from residential schools as well as the racism that made it possible are still present in our society today.
As investigations continue, more children will be discovered. It’s important to examine the ways that we are complicit in and have benefited from colonialism in Canada. We must take active steps to change our mindsets and take action against racism.
To support residential school survivors, their families, and those dealing with intergenerational trauma, visit the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
Featured image: The Star
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