September 30 marks the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day was created to commemorate the tragic legacy of residential schools and their lasting impact on Indigenous peoples and communities to this day.
The day is also recognized as Orange Shirt Day, which encourages us to honour the survivors of residential schools while reflecting on the loss of children and the acts of cultural genocide that attempted to break the spirit and legacies of Indigenous families and communities.
Humber College is committed to recognizing and celebrating Indigenous cultures, histories, and Knowledges in our academic programming, events, professional development, and other initiatives throughout the year. This work is guided by the Department of Indigenous Education and Engagement (IE&E) and Humber’s Indigenous Education Council.
In order to heal and build mino nawendiwin (good relationships), every college and university, including Humber, must engage in Truth and Reconciliation. By choosing to act on the 94 recommendations in the Calls to Action, we all can participate in ongoing and genuine learning as we collectively recognize and address the legacy of residential schools.
This is not a single day of action. It is an action that requires focused attention and commitment all year.
We call on every person within the Humber community to think about what Truth and Reconciliation means to you, and how you will enact Truth and Reconciliation in your own lives.
It is the responsibility of all Canadians to understand the impacts of residential schools, the policies that created the conditions for the devastation of Indigenous cultures and communities, and the roles that Indigenous peoples are playing in shaping our modern world.
It will take time and a strong commitment from all peoples to support and heal the damage of the multigenerational trauma that continues to be perpetrated to this day.
Students and employees are encouraged to post a photo of themselves wearing an orange shirt on September 30 on social media and tag @humberindigenous on Instagram and @humberindig on Twitter while sharing what the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day means to you. You can also upload your photo and message to the Orange Shirt Day website.
As the college will be open on September 30, we ask that you support Indigenous staff and students who may want to gather and participate in broader community events or do what they need to do to commemorate the multigenerational impacts of residential schools.
On September 30, all flags at Humber will be lowered in honour of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and to commemorate the tragic legacy of residential schools.
For more information about how Humber contributes to your own opportunities to learn, please visit the Humber Indigenous Education and Engagement website.
Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan