Thursday, September 30, 2021 is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada – a day to honour residential school survivors and recognize the lives of those who did not return.
Along with Orange Shirt Day, which was established in 2013 to raise awareness about the damaging effects of Canada’s residential school system, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an important step in our ongoing reconciliation journey.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation should not be considered merely a holiday, or a day off from school or work, but an opportunity to pause, to reflect and to take actionable steps toward the meaningful, difficult and necessary work of reconciliation. To recognize this day, the SLRD administration office in Pemberton will be closed and we have asked our staff and Board members to wear orange, and to take some time on this day to reflect, to learn and to commit to this journey. We ask you to join us.
- Purchasing orange shirts through Indigenous-owned organizations and designers whose proceeds contribute to this cause;
- Learning about the history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada;
- Contemplating any personal discomfort resulting from Canada’s actions;
- Reading the 94 Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Report;
- Learning how to properly acknowledge the land we live on;
- Creating space for Indigenous people to speak and trust Indigenous leaders;
- Supporting authentic Indigenous businesses, experiences, artists and events.
This is a day for reflection, but reconciliation is not an item to be checked off a ‘to do” list and this work cannot be done in a day. This is a journey. It’s difficult. It’s emotional. It’s necessary. Let’s hold each other accountable, to ensure that these are not empty words.
I live, work and play on the shared unceded, traditional territories of the Skwxwú7mesh and Lil’wat Nations; the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) is found within the unceded, traditional territories of the Skwxwú7mesh, St'át'imc and Lil'wat Nations, with small parts also overlapping with the traditional territories of the Stó:lō, Tsleil-Waututh, Nlaka'pamux, Tsilhqot'in, and Secwepemc Nations. The SLRD is committed to enhancing relations with the Indigenous communities and First Nations within these territories. There is much work to be done.
Huy chexw, kukw`stumc`kalap, thank you.
Chair, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District