Every Child Matters

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30

September 30, 2021

In observance of the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, SPEC would like to acknowledge that our work has operated within, and benefitted from, the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.  We would also like to turn our minds to all Indigneous peoples of the place we now call Canada, and acknowledge the lost children, survivors, families and communities who are impacted by the lasting legacy of harms caused by the Canadian Indian Residential School system. This new federal statutory holiday presents us with the opportunity to recognize the inter-generational injustices perpetrated by this system, and contemplate how we can take action to support the full, equal and just participation of Indignenous peoples in all aspects of life. 

Colonialism continues to impact Indigenous peoples in devastating ways, including dispossession of lands, overrepresentation in prisons and child protection systems, and exclusion from many societal benefits. And while Indigenous activism is making great changes towards reclamation, resurgence and decolonization, there is still much work to be done in dismantling colonial ways of thinking and being. SPEC is committed to bettering our work to support Indigenous peoples, and as an organization, we advocate for a just future wherein we all play a role in upholding Indigenous rights. We ask our supporters to join us in acknowledging that advancing Truth and Reconciliation is a responsibility that belongs to everyone. 

Let this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation be a time for all non-Indigenous people to learn about historical and current injustices, to understand more deeply, and most importantly to support Indigenous peoples in their fight for self-determination. 

With respect,

Here is a list of resources that some of our Board Members have found to be useful. Please note, this is not a complete list, and we encourage everyone to expand their knowledge by referring to other sources as well. 

  • Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions’ Calls to Action. Choose one Call that resonates with you and commit to how you can support that Call transforming into action 

  • Participate in the events the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is hosting for Truth and Reconciliation Week

  • Participate in the Orange Shirt Day event on September 30 that is hosted by the Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS), the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre (VAFC), and the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre (VACPC). 

  • Join the One Day’s Pay call to donate to an Indigenous Organization. 

  • Shop at Iron Dog Books, an Indigenous owned and operated bookstore that is donating all proceeds on September 30 to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society

  • Take part in Patty Krawec’s TRC social media challenge

  • Explore the CBC’s interactive project Did you Live Near a Residential School? to learn more about the locations and history of residential schools in Canada 

  • Visit the interactive Native Land website to learn more about Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages where you live, as well as from around the globe.