We Are All Treaty People

Statement from the OTC for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

  • Published - 29/09/2023
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  • Posted By - OTC
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On Sept. 30, 2023, we commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation also known as Orange Shirt Day. This year, don’t just take a day off work. Take time to learn more about reconciliation – read about residential schools and their impacts, learn about intergenerational trauma, watch a mini-documentary or listen to a podcast about the ongoing search for children who never returned home. Stop for a minute and think about what that means and the impacts they still have.

The new school year just started, children go to school in the morning and return in the afternoon. The Office of the Treaty Commissioner is asking that you imagine how it would feel to be forced to send a child to a boarding school and not see them until June, or never have them come home: the gravity of a situation you have no control over and can't stop. How would you feel if you never saw your child again?  Or know what happened to them? Feel angry about a system that was run by the government and churches - places that are supposed to be safe and protect people that were instead administering the residential school system and could not be turned to for help. Feel devastated at the idea that decades later some parents and families still do not know what happened to the children that left to school.

But don’t stop with these feelings. The OTC is asking you to channel those emotions and be motivated to take action: donate to organizations that support survivors and their families; advocate for churches and others to release records to family members; stand in solidarity with families.

The journey of reconciliation is not about checking things off a list. It’s not about ensuring you have said the right thing. It is a growth process, it is about being open minded and willing to learn, it usually involves a range of emotions and uncomfortable conversations with yourself and the people around you.

We know that through kindness, patience, and understanding we can do better, and we have to do better. It is together that we become stronger and make our Treaty territories a safe and healthy place for all of us. It is about walking together on a journey to create a new, shared future for our children and grandchildren. Every Child Matters.