Image Credit: orangeshirtday
Canada has commemorated its first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation federally, recognising the painful history caused by residential schools and the ongoing impact it has had on indigenous families and communities.
In a statement the Canadian government recognized that the public commemorations of the country's dark history is a vital component of the reconciliation process. The formal recognition of the commemoration was introduced into law last year but yesterday marked the first commemoration.
Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau said, “I encourage all Canadians to take this opportunity to learn more about the history of residential schools in Canada, listen to the stories of survivors and their families, and reflect on how each of us can play a part in the journey of reconciliation" in a statement.
It comes after the discover of 751 unmarked graves were discovered at the site of a former residential school in Saskatchewan in June. A few weeks prior the remains of 215 children were found in British Columbia. Indigenous activists have stated that legacy of abuse and isolation and as the root cause of epidemic rates of alcoholism, drug addiction and suicide among their communities.
Image Credit orangeshirtday
Both the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day take place on September 30. Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours the children who survived residential schools and remembers those who did not.