The federal government has declared Sept. 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It will be the first time the day is observed federally in Canada.
The day coincides with Orange Shirt Day, which was an informal holiday that encouraged people to wear Orange on Sept. 30 to honour and commemorate the residential school experience, and witness the healing journey of survivors and their families.
In Golden, there are several ways that you can honour the day.
The Métis Nation Columbia River Society will be hosting “The Blanket Exercise”, what they describe as a powerful history lesson dating from pre-contact to present. The event will take place from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Seniors Center.
It’s a free event, but is limited to 50 people to comply with Covid Protocols. Call 250-344-0580 or 250-939-8991 to register.
The Kamloops Indian Band have asked the whole world to go out and sing or drum at 2:15 p.m. PDT, representing the 215 children found in graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. The Métis Nation will be honouring this request at 3:15 p.m. local time at the Blanket Exercise.
Those who cannot attend are encouraged to wear orange, with Off The Wall selling orange shirts and the Métis Nation society giving their stamp of approval for those looking to get orange.
Many have suggested painting rocks orange as well and leaving them by the river.
In addition, schools under the Rocky Mountain School District No. 6 will have a day off to observe the stat holiday.
Most public schools, post-secondary institutions, research universities, Crown corporations and B.C. government offices will be closed.
Truth and Reconciliation Day is meant to be a day of reflection, like Remembrance Day. It was one of the 94 recommendations in the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report.
If you are interested in reading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, something that is recommended to those looking to educate themselves, you can do so online.