National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30, 2021

September 30, 2021 has been declared the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, a federal holiday, in honour of the survivors of Indian Residential Schools and those who did not make it home.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will commence on September 30, 2021 in response to Call #80 of Truth and Reconciliation Committee 94 Calls to Action.

80. We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

Through our design work in Northern Canada, we have been fortunate to work closely with Indigenous Communities and experience firsthand the richness of culture and community.  We have also witnessed the difficulties faced by these communities, the lack of resources available, and impact to the environment. We strongly promote and support the process of reconciliation.  We are actively working to respond to Call 92.

92. We call upon the corporate sector in Canada to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a reconciliation framework and to apply its principles, norms, and standards to corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous peoples and their lands and resources. This would include, but not be limited to, the following:

i. Commit to meaningful consultation, building respectful relationships, and obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with economic development projects.

ii. Ensure that Aboriginal peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects.

iii. Provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.

To draw attention to this day Parkin will have an automatic reply on our emails:

Today we acknowledge the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which is marked to commemorate those who were lost and those who survived residential schools, and the ongoing inequity and injustice Indigenous peoples continue to suffer. We support and promote the processes of reconciliation and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action to civil society and businesses.”  

We are encouraging all our staff to limit meetings on September 30th and use this day a day of reflection and commemoration.

In respect of this day, Parkin is organizing an education session for staff hosted by Shana Roberts, MEDes, Senior Social Impact Assessment Specialist and Josh Vitez, Parkin (Toronto).  Shana specialises in strategic guidance and regulatory advice guided by the principles of reconciliation.

As an organisation, we strongly believe in fostering collaboration, partnerships and knowledge sharing with our communities.   With this in mind, we would like to invite anyone interested to join our education session “Finding a Way Forward to Reconciliation by Understanding the Past”, led by Shana Roberts on September 30th, 2021 8 a.m. (PT), 11 a.m. (ET).  Please email toronto@parkin.ca for access, space is limited on a first come first serve basis.

We continue to educate ourselves in Indigenous culture, literature, art, and history.

We strive for Indigenous education and health equity through our work. 

Resources:

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, https://nctr.ca/records/reports/

Orange Shirt Day, https://www.orangeshirtday.org/

To learn more of the 94 calls to action and progress made to date, use CBC’s Beyond94 Resource, https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/longform-single/beyond-94?&cta=51

Podcast: Finding Healing After Surviving Residential Schools in Canada, https://porcupinepodcast.ca/finding-healing-after-surviving-residential-schools-in-canada/

Film Our Healing Journey (Part 1 of 2) Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bb1G6Sjcn4