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September 29, 2021
This week marks Truth and Reconciliation Week and the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation taking place on September 30. Call to Action #80 in the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission report asked for this day, first known as Orange Shirt Day, to become a statutory holiday with two goals: to honour survivors, their families, and communities; and to ensure the public commemoration of residential schools.
Reconciliation does not feel like the right word to us at Out On Screen. As a mostly settler-run organization, we do not have a past of “friendly relations” with Indigenous peoples to restore, and Out On Screen has, and does, perpetuate harm. We need to repair and rebuild these relationships anew. In this work, our focus is on advancing truth and justice—better listening to Indigenous people who are sharing their experiences, making the changes that are being asked of us, and ensuring justice is reflected in our relationships with Indigenous people and communities.
Some truths we understand today are the incredible leadership of Indigenous peoples; the ongoing harms of systems that still separate Indigenous children and families today; and the significant knowledge Indigenous peoples carry with them.
Here are some ways to recognize this day as we deepen our understanding of truth: