September 29, 2021. OTTAWA, ON. On September 30, Canada marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. On this day, we remember and honour the victims of Canada’s Residential School System.
We reflect on the injustices of colonialism endured by Canada’s Indigenous Peoples. As Canadians we have an obligation to ensure that the historical trauma and discrimination faced by Canada’s Indigenous Peoples are addressed with empathy and understanding.
The recent discoveries of children’s graves at the sites of former Indian Residential Schools are a heart-breaking reminder to us all of these injustices. They are a reminder that too often in our history, Canada has not lived up to the ideals that we espouse.
We cannot comprehend the pain suffered by so many children, parents and grandparents, whose families were torn apart by the cruel and discriminatory policy of Residential Schools. The Ukrainian Canadian community stands with our sisters and brothers in the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation in mourning and remembrance and in the search for a just future.
On the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress encourages everyone to:
- Wear an Orange Shirt to help raise awareness about the legacy of Residential Schools
- Learn about the Residential School System
- Learn about findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
- Explore the exhibits of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, available here
- Read the Assembly of First Nations’ The Healing Path Forward: 2021 Federal Priorities for Strengthening and Rebuilding First Nations
- Watch the moving and poignant address of former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde to the XXVI Congress of Ukrainian Canadians, delivered on November 1, 2019.