September 30th is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
DABC will be closed on Friday, September 30th in recognition of The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, or “Orange Shirt Day.”
The day is observed to “memorialize the children lost to the residential school system and honour Survivors, their families, and their communities.”
The day is also called Orange Shirt Day in reference to Phyllis (Jack) Webstad’s first experience of the residential school system: she had her brand new orange shirt taken from her the day she arrived at the Mission. Read Phyllis’ story in her own words on orangeshirtday.org.
Canadians are encouraged to wear an orange shirt on this day to honour the survivors of residential schools, and those who never returned home. If you are purchasing an orange shirt, please try to buy from Indigenous designers and sellers. VanMag compiled a short list of such designers.
DABC is committed to the ongoing process of decolonization, and recognizes that we still, and will always, have things to learn and work to do. An important aspect of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is the phrase “truth before reconciliation.” Spreading the truth of previous and ongoing oppression in various forms towards Indigenous Peoples is one way that allies can contribute to this work.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s reports and Calls to Action are important reading: https://nctr.ca/records/reports/#trc-reports.
If you would like to support and spread the word about Indigenous-led organizations that are doing great work to support Indigenous communities dealing with intergenerational trauma, these are two:
Indian Residential Schools Survivors’ Society: https://www.irsss.ca/
Urban Native Youth Association: https://unya.bc.ca/
We encourage our staff, volunteers, members and readers to take some time on the 30th to read the information at the above links/reflect on their learnings, and to consider attending a local event marking the day. The Vancouver Sun has compiled a list of events in the Lower Mainland.