September 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This is a day set aside for the remembrance and mourning for the victims and survivors of residential schools, the systematic program of assimilation, and destruction of culture, language, and family that has permanently scarred these lands that make up Canada, leaving many Indigenous communities with generational trauma and its effects. Some of us will be gathered in Nanaimo for our biennial diocesan conference We-Together, where we will be holding a service of mourning.
We encourage you all to listen, to reflect and to repent for the ways that we as heirs of our institutional and colonial past have been complicit in and beneficiaries of this project of genocide.
There are many ways you can prepare and participate in the September 30 events, here are a few you may consider.
Read: Review the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. For more information, CLICK HERE.
Watch: The Anglican Church of Canada’s documentary video Doctrine of Discovery; Stolen Lands, Strong Hearts.
Listen: The recent CBC podcast Kuper Island hosted by Duncan McCue which investigates the Kuper Island residential school on Penelakut Island where many children from the Southern Part of Vancouver Island here taken. For more information, CLICK HERE.
Online - The Yellowhead Institute is an Indigenous-led research and education based in the Faculty of Arts at Toronto Metropolitan University. The Institute privileges Indigenous philosophy and amplifies Indigenous voices that provide alternatives to settler colonialism in Canada today. They are hosting a SPECIAL ONLINE EVENT | SEPT 29, 2022 “A Calls to Action Conversation on Truth & Reconciliation” where they are asking “What does National Truth and Reconciliation Day mean when so many of the impactful Calls to Action remain incomplete?” To register for this event, CLICK HERE.
There are many community events across the Island and we encourage your participation in your local community.
Victoria - We are pleased to support the “coming together again” Powwow an event organized by the Songhees Nation hosted at the Royal Athletic Park from 10:00 AM. From Songhees website: “The South Island Powwow is an opportunity to recognize Survivors and their families in the spirit of reconciliation. Through song and dance, we will celebrate traditional Indigenous cultures and resiliency.
We believe September 30th is a day to reflect and celebrate our culture. For this reason, we will only be hosting intertribal dance groups, with no competition. We will sing and dance together, not against one another. This is a time to memorialize our past and future.
We look to hold space and honour our residential school, day school, and 60s scoop Survivors and their families. Celebrate Indigenous cultures that colonization tried to erase, and showcase our strength and resilience. While bringing people together, for celebration and to build bridges amongst all Nations.” For more information, CLICK HERE.
The City of Victoria is hosting the Xe Xe Smun' Eem-Victoria Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters Ceremony on Friday, September 30 from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in Centennial Square. For more information, CLICK HERE.
Remembering the Children Prayer (www.rememberingthechildren.ca)
God of our Ancestors, who holds the spirits of our grandmothers and grandfathers and the spirits of our grandchildren, Remembering the Children, we now pledge ourselves to speak the Truth, and with our hearts and our souls to act upon the Truth we have heard of the injustices lived, of the sufferings inflicted, of the tears cried, of the misguided intentions imposed, and of the power of prejudice and racism which were allowed to smother the sounds and laughter of the forgotten children. Hear our cries of lament for what was allowed to happen, and for what will never be. In speaking and hearing and acting upon the Truth may we as individuals and as a nation meet the hope of a new beginning. Great Creator God who desires that all creation live in harmony and peace, Remembering the Children we dare to dream of a Path of Reconciliation where apology from the heart leads to healing of the heart and the chance of restoring the circle, where justice walks with all, where respect leads to true partnership, where the power to change comes from each heart. Hear our prayer of hope, and guide this country of Canada on a new and different path.