National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
In June 2021, the government passed legislation to make September 30 a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day provides an opportunity for every Canadian to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools. This may present itself as a time for quiet reflection or participation in a community event.
Read more about the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
On September 26, a flag-raising ceremony was conducted on the Concrete Beach at Western. The ceremony included Dr. Alan Shepard, President & Vice-Chancellor of Western University; Dr. Christy Bressette, VP/AVP Indigenous Initiatives; Jody Noah, Indigenous Post-Secondary Education Council Co-Chair and Oneida Women singers, and concluded with the raising of the Every Child Matters Flag for the week.
On September 29, King's raised the Every Child Matters flag as a symbol of our solidarity and ongoing commitment to truth and reconciliation. King's shone orange lights on the Student Life Centre (SLC) and Wemple Hall to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Check the full schedule of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation events from Western's Office of Indigenous Initiatives for more information, including details about the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at the Green on September 30, led by Atlohsa Family Healing Services.
On Tuesday, October 4 from 5 to 7 p.m., Tamara Bernard, an award-winning storyteller, advocate and educator from Kiasheke Zaaging Anishinaabek who has dedicated her life work to social justice for Indigenous peoples, spoke in the Frank Holmes Theatre at Huron College about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) and Violence on Indigenous Womanhood. Please RSVP to attend.
View the event poster
On Friday, November 11, at 2 pm, Huron College screened The Ace and the Scout. The movie premiere included a Q&A with the cast and crew. Admission was free.
Other Important Dates
Chief Cadmus Delorme of the Cowessess First Nation was the first speaker of the 2022-2023 Veritas Series for Faith and Culture. His lecture was "Truth and Reconciliation: What We Inherited, and Actions We All Must Take."
Indigenous Resources at King's
We recognize that reconciliation means nothing without action. At King’s we have a lot of work to do to create more and wider pathways to education for Indigenous students, faculty, alumni and community members. As an educational institution, our purpose is to have impact in society through teaching and research. Our ongoing work with reconciliation for our community includes these initiatives:
- On September 30, 2022, Western University launched the Memegwaanh Indigenous Learning Honour (ILH) as part of its commitment to Indigenization and decolonization across the university and its affiliates. The ILH will recognize students’ engagement in efforts towards Truth and Reconciliation through academic coursework and extracurricular activities. Undergraduate students in any faculty at King’s University College are eligible to enrol in the Honor.
- Learning Guide: Indigenous Studies organized by Cardinal Carter Library.
- Learning Guide: Resources about Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) and the Catholic Church organized by Cardinal Carter Library and St. Peter's Seminary Library.
- King's is a member of Southern First Nations Secretariat's Collaborative with a shared commitment and responsibility to prioritize the needs and interests of aspiring, former and current post-secondary education students who are members of SFNS First Nations.
- King’s University College Students’ Council supports awareness of issues facing Indigenous communities and peoples, including annually sponsoring Indigenous Awareness Week, The REDress Project in support of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and Orange Shirt Day related to impact of residential schools in Canada.
- All student leaders and Student Affairs employees engage annually in educational and awareness activities related to their roles in advancing the developing of programs that engage and support Indigenous learners at King’s and Western.
- King's established a new endowed student award for Indigenous learners. Gifts to the Indigenous Student Award were matched dollar-for-dollar by King's, and more than $50,000 was raised. For more information on this award and other financial assistance, visit King's list of financial resources for Indigenous students.
- The Reflection Circle on the King's Green provides an outdoor location for sacred gatherings, such as smudging ceremonies, for the Indigenous community.
- King's is a member of Indigenous Post-Secondary Education (IPEC) at Western, where we seek to listen and consult in an effort to advance Indigenous ways of learning and knowing on our campus.
- King's has partnered with the Office of Indigenous Initiatives and Indigenous Services at Western to provide a range of services for and with Indigenous learners including admissions, academic advising, personal and financial support.
- Faculty at King's co-authored this Haznet article on Building Climate Resilient Communities in Pandemic Recovery.
These three books were recommended by Chief Cadmus Delorme of Cowessess First Nation:
Clearing the Plains by James Daschuk – also available online
In arresting but harrowing prose, Daschuk examines the roles that Old World diseases, climate, and, most disturbingly, Canadian politics--the politics of ethnocide--played in the deaths and subjugation of thousands of Indigenous people in the realization of Sir John A. Macdonald's "National Dream." Winner of multiple awards, including the Governor General’s History Award 2014.
Indigenomics: Taking a Seat at the Economic Table by Carol Anne Hilton – also available online
Indigenomics lays out the tenets of the emerging Indigenous economy, built around relationships, multigenerational stewardship of resources, and care for all. Indigenomics calls for a new model of development, one that advances Indigenous self-determination, collective well-being, and reconciliation. This is vital reading for business leaders and entrepreneurs, Indigenous organizations and nations, governments and policymakers, and economists.
No Surrender: The Land Remains Indigenous by Sheldon Krasowski – also available online
Between 1869 and 1877, the government of Canada negotiated Treaties One through Seven with the Indigenous peoples of the Great Plains. Many historians argue that the negotiations suffered from cultural misunderstandings between the treaty commissioners and Indigenous chiefs, but newly uncovered eyewitness accounts show that the Canadian government had a strategic plan to deceive over the “surrender clause” and land sharing.
These books were recommended by Sara Mai Chitty, Curriculum & Pedagogy Advisor in Western’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives:
Five Little Indians by Michelle Good (no e-book, hardcopy only)
Taken from their families and sent to a remote, church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are released after years of detention. With compassion and insight, Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of these residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and find a way forward. Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction.
From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way by Jesse Thistle – also available online
In his multiple award-winning memoir, Jesse Thistle, once a high school dropout and now a rising Indigenous scholar, chronicles his life on the streets and how he overcame trauma and addiction to discover the truth about who he is. From the Ashes is about hope and resilience; a revelatory look into the life of a Métis-Cree man who refused to give up.
Watch Jesse Thistle's 2020 Veritas lecture, "Finding the Trail: A Métis Life Overcoming Adversity."
Helen Knott, a highly accomplished Indigenous woman, seems to have it all. But in her memoir, she offers a different perspective. This award-winning memoir is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption.
Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese – also available online and as an online video
Saul Indian Horse has hit bottom. Now a reluctant resident in a treatment centre for alcoholics, he’s surrounded by people he’s sure will never understand him. But Saul wants peace, and he grudgingly realizes he’ll find it only through telling his story, taking readers on a journey through the life he’s led as a northern Ojibway, with all its joys and sorrows.
On September 29, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Western Libraries, in collaboration with the London Public Library, is holding a pop-up event in the D.B. Weldon Library's Community Room. Come and chat with library staff about recent publications on Indigenous topics in book and digital format, from leisure reads to Indigenous law and learning modules.
Previous Lectures and Talks
- Cindy Blackstock's 2021 Veritas Lecture, "Reconciling History: Echoes of the Past."
- Liz Akiwenzie's 2021 Write Place Opening Talk about Truth and Reconciliation and our collective responsibility to acknowledge and confront the consequences of colonialism
- Jesse Thistle's 2020 Veritas lecture, "Finding the Trail: A Métis Life Overcoming Adversity."
- Senator Murray Sinclair's 2019 Veritas lecture, "The Future of Truth and Reconciliation."
- National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Resources at Western
- Indigenous Collections at Western Libraries
- 12 Ways to Engage in Truth and Reconciliation at Western
- Atlohsa Family Healing Services is hosting many events for September and Orange Shirt Day
- Taapwaywin, a new podcast series from the University of Victoria Libraries that focuses on previously unheard Indigenous stories from Survivors, Elders, and Knowledge Keepers, and gives listeners a chance to learn the truth before seeking reconciliation
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
- Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle
- Kairos Canada
- Northern Bridge Community Partnership