September 30th declared the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

The Government of Canada recently announced that September 30th will be recognized as a federal statutory holiday known as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities.

Monday September 27, 2021

The Government of Canada recently announced that September 30th will be recognized as a federal statutory holiday known as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities.

While the Province of Ontario has not recognized the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday (at the time of writing), we believe this day is an important first step in many actions needed to make progress towards reconciliation. Therefore, the AC will be closing our facilities and giving our staff the day off to reflect, educate, and acknowledge the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The urgency for reconciliation

The need for reconciliation is only becoming more and more necessary as we continue to shed light on the tragedy of residential schools and inequity of the current living conditions of Indigenous survivors.

A few examples of statistics surrounding their hardships include:

● Indigenous youth, women and men are highly overrepresented in the prison systems

● The foster care system is comprised of 52% Indigenous children, yet they only represent 7.7% of the children in Canada

● Many First Nations communities still live without clean drinking water

● The Indigenous female homicide rate is roughly 4.5 times higher than that of all other women in Canada

● Of the estimated 3,200 unmarked graves at residential schools, the majority have not yet been located

● In 2019, 48% of First Nations households did not have enough income to cover their food expenses

Where to start?

We want to encourage all members of our community to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, whether it's through personal reflection, education, or awareness activities. Some events and resources to commemorate this day are:

Orange Shirt Day

The Orange Shirt Story by Phillys Webstad, or other books by Indigenous authors

● Online events hosted by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

The 94 Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action

The Executive Summary of the Final Report: National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

● Investigate and learn more about the settled land that you came to live on

We are committed to ensuring that the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools is never forgotten, and we stand with the Indigenous members of the AC community and across Canada.

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We acknowledge that the AC is on the Haldimand Tract, land promised to the Haudenosaunee people of Six Nations, which includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. This territory is the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnaabeg, and Haudenosaunee Peoples.

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