Reconciliation Saskatoon is encouraging everyone to take steps to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept 30, and use this moment to deepen your commitment to fostering change.
The federal statutory holiday was passed this year by the Government of Canada to recognize and commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, and to honour their survivors, their families and communities. The day was established in response to the 80th call to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action.
The move came shortly after the remains of children were discovered in late May by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. More remains have been found since then, and more searches are underway across the country. The original report estimated that 6,000 children died while attending the schools, although many people expect the number to be much higher.
Also known as Orange Shirt Day, wearing orange on September 30 continues to be a way to honour Residential School Survivors. Orange Shirt Day was inspired by the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, who had a beautiful orange shirt, bought by her grandmother, that was taken from her as a six-year old on her first day at residential school.
Do more than just wear orange. Take time to learn about the residential school impact and legacy, have a conversation about colonization, make a commitment and find someone to be accountable with, and use the day to meaningfully engage in reconciliation.
Usually we host the Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation on National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21). In 2022, the event was cancelled due to weather. So we are excited to bring this event to our community on Sept 30. Here’s what you can expect:
Aligning with The Orange Banner Project, by the City of Saskatoon and Saskatoon Tribal Council on Sept 30
The City of Saskatoon and Saskatoon Tribal Council are launching an Orange Banner Project in September, hanging orange banners from lamp posts throughout the City for a few weeks before and after Sept 30. The banners will be hung from Ave P and 20th Street W, run downtown and continue on the east side of the city down College Drive adjacent to the U of S campus. Runners from Running Wild Athletics will begin a run at the east point of where the banners begin. The runners will meet the Rock Your Roots walkers at “Where Our Paths Cross.”
We’re very excited about these partnerships. The Rock Your Roots walk will take place along the route of the orange banners, so our participants can take in this installation on the journey!
Rock Your Roots and the Orange Banner Project folks are working together with Discover Saskatoon (formerly Tourism Saskatoon) on a comprehensive awareness campaign that will invite people to attend, but also to use this event as a way to deepen engagement in Truth and Reconciliation.
ConnectR was created to give you the ideas and resources you need to learn about truth and reconciliation, work against racism, understand the impacts of colonization, foster healing and relationship-building, and ultimately engage in making change.
To honour the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, we created the following tools to inspire action and help you along this path.