September 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It is a day that recognizes our commitment to truth, understanding, and healing as we reflect on our history and the ongoing legacy of residential schools, the trauma experienced by many, and the steps we can take to create a more inclusive and just Edmonton for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. It is a step towards recognizing and rectifying historical injustices and working together toward a better future.
To deepen your understanding of truth and reconciliation, here are five ways to mark the day.
1. Attend Indigenous Ceremonies and Events
Check for local Indigenous-led events, ceremonies, and gatherings happening in Edmonton on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. These events may include traditional ceremonies, drum circles, storytelling, and more. Participating in these activities is a great way to show your support and respect. We have put together a list of some in-person and online events:
- National Day for Truth and Reconciliation | Bent Arrow
- Nékem: Honouring National Day For Truth and Reconciliation | John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights
- KAIROS Blanket Exercise – Public Saturday Afternoon | LBH Business Services Inc.
- National Day for Truth and Reconciliation | NAIT
- Truth and Reconciliation Week 2023 | NCTR
2. Visit Indigenous Cultural Centers and Ceremonies
Spend the day exploring Edmonton’s Indigenous cultural centers and museums, such as the Royal Alberta Museum or the Indigenous Art Park at the Art Gallery of Alberta.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation | Royal Alberta Museum viewing Table, September 30, 1-3 p.m. at Royal Alberta Museum lobby. Learn about Indigenous stories and objects from RAM’s Learning Collection at their viewing table in the lobby. Visitors will have the chance to ask questions and see objects up close.
3. Read an Educational Resource or Memoir
Reading an educational resource or memoir on Indigenous history is an excellent way to gain a comprehensive understanding of Indigenous experiences, both past and present.
- A Knock on the Door
- Broken Circle | Heritage House Publishing
- The Education of Augie Merasty
- They Called Me Number One
- Where Are The Children – Legacy of Hope Foundation
- Out of the Depths, 4th Edition: The Experiences of Mi’kmaw Children at the Indian Residential School at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia
4. Watch Indigenous Stories
Another meaningful way to honor Indigenous cultures, contributions, and resilience is to watch videos that share stories of Indigenous peoples.
- Stolen Children | Residential School survivors speak out
- Kamloops residential school survivors recall students going missing, digging of graves in orchard
- “The Stranger” Official Video – Gord Downie – Secret Path
- A Day to Listen 2023 – The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund
5. Support Indigenous-Owned Businesses
Show your support for Indigenous communities by shopping at Indigenous-owned businesses in Edmonton. Additionally, consider donating to or volunteering with local Indigenous organizations and initiatives that focus on reconciliation, education, and community development.
Remember that the best way to commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is with respect, empathy, and a willingness to learn about Indigenous history and culture. Furthermore, it’s important to consider the ongoing efforts toward reconciliation and how you can play an active role in making our community a better place.