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National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Friday, September 30, 2022, is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The City invites residents to practice allyship with the First Peoples of this Land and to wear orange in recognition and honour of the children, families, and communities impacted by residential schools in Canada.
The City is honouring this day by encouraging conversations around Indigenous history and reconciliation. Staff have been working closely with Hereditary Chiefs, Nalaga Consulting and Destination Campbell River staff on a collection of short stories that reflect the history of Campbell River and honour its past; these stories will be shared with the community later this year.
The Liǧʷiłdax̌ʷ community generously shared advice on how to practice allyship, which we are thankful to be able to share with Campbell River (ƛəmataxʷ) residents today. Allyship is the practice of working towards social justice, inclusion, and human rights by members of a group who usually hold privilege, to advance the interests of an oppressed or marginalized group. Allyship is a lifelong process of creating relationships built on trust, safety, consistency and accountability with marginalized and oppressed groups. Avis Ḵ’áw kuuna O’Brian, Nalaga Consulting, shared the following suggestions for those looking to practice allyship this National Day of Truth and Reconciliation:
- Commit to never perpetuate or stand by in silence when you hear racist remarks or negative stereotypes about Indigenous People.
- Show up to Indigenous-led events and initiatives.
- Educate yourself and your children on the history of Canada as a way to develop empathy.
- Wear orange on Orange Shirt Day (September 30).
- Display Authentic Indigenous Artwork in your business.
- Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.
- Practice kindness and empathy to the folks you see living with the impacts of colonialism.
- Be respectful of Indigenous cemeteries; these are sacred grounds.
- Help to carry the burdens that Indigenous Peoples are carrying.
“The road to reconciliation is through understanding that although those children were lost, they could be called back home through ceremony and remembrance,” says Hereditary Chief, Elder James Kwa’hiladzi Quatell, residential school survivor. “I want people to hear the voices of those children saying ‘Help me get home. I don’t want to be lost any more; I want to go home.’ It’s people acknowledging and accepting that, yes, that really did happen. A new page has to be turned for all of us in order to find some kind of understanding of why that happened.”
“Reconciliation isn’t just a word, it’s an action, and something that each person has to consider and intentionally address,” says Hereditary Chief Quatell, who also assisted with the preparation of the allyship suggestions. “By sharing our stories and truths, and the City sharing our stories, it’s recognition and it’s furthering important conversations.”
“Today is a solemn reminder for many, but also a day of reflecting on how far we have come, learning and healing. It is amazing to see all levels of governments supporting and participating in this day of Truth and Reconciliation. This is something I would never have imagined seeing in my generation. It is a great start,” says Gary P’asalath Johnson, Hereditary Chief. “My hope for today is that everyone who is participating in this day will take a few moments to make a conscious decision to learn more about our Indigenous People and keep the dialogue going. Reconciliation is a long way away, however, we have the duty to talk, educate, share and work towards reconciliation with a goal of unity amongst all Canadians.”
“As the City continues along its journey of learning and reconciliation, we acknowledge and thank Liǧʷiłdax̌ʷ for sharing with us their works as we look to recognize and honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation,” says Deborah Sargent, City Manager. “I encourage residents and visitors alike to take time to learn about Indigenous Peoples and the history and tragic legacy of residential schools across Canada.”
There will be an event in Spirit Square in Campbell River (ƛəmataxʷ) on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The City encourages residents and visitors to attend.
All City facilities will be closed, including City Hall, the Sportsplex and Community Centre. Curbside garbage, recycling, and yard waste will not be picked up on this statutory holiday and will move forward one weekday.
Where: Meet at Spirit Square for Opening Ceremonies
Opening Ceremony: 11:30 a.m.
Walk to the Big House: noon
Celebrations at the Big House: noon – 2 p.m.
If you are in need of an Orange Shirt please visit Totem House designs HERE. We encourage supporting Totem House Designs as they are Indigenous owned and operated out of Comox, with 100% of profits of their Orange Shirts sales going towards Elder and Youth support programs within our communities.
You can also visit the Campbell River Art Gallery Gift Shop during their open hours, Thursday to Saturday.