The importance of truth and reconciliation
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/10/2021 (594 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
I want to acknowledge a very important date that recently passed – the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, on Sept. 30. It was day to reflect on and honour the lost lives and survivors of residential schools.
We still have to go one step further, though, and recognize it as a statutory holiday here in Manitoba.
On Sept. 22, along with my NDP colleagues, I visited the site of the former residential school in the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation in Brandon. We learned about the years of work to locate unmarked graves. Spending time listening to elders has shown me that there is a long road to go in the healing process and that we all play a part in working toward reconciliation in our province.
I spent Sept. 30 with my wife and our children at the Orange Shirt Day powwow in St. John’s Park. It was a day filled with the music and dance, and the resilience of Indigenous peoples. The day also carried the dark memories of Canada’s residential schools and the often-untold sufferings that Indigenous children went through.
Thank you to all those who organized and led the event, as well as those who took the day to honour the survivors of residential schools, their families and those who never made it home.
I’m proud to stand alongside an incredible NDP leader, Wab Kinew, who has pushed the government to both recognize Sept. 3 as a statutory holiday in Manitoba and to begin each day we sit in the legislature with a land acknowledgment.
Neither of these actions will heal the deeps wounds created by centuries of violent oppression against Indigenous people. No singular action will. But they are steps in recognizing the truth of our shared history and hopefully positive steps towards meaningful actions to reconcile with Indigenous communities.
I am heartened to see that school and community groups in St. Vital recognized the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.Whether they wore orange shirts to school, observed a moment of silence, or did class projects on the issue, students throughout St. Vital learned about Orange Shirt Day. Educating young people in our community about the importance of reconciliation will only further improve their understanding of our society and help St. Vital become a more accepting place.
Survivors of residential schools and those needing mental health support can call 1-866-925-4419 for emotional crisis referral services.
As always, you can get in touch with me by emailing email@example.com or by calling 204-219-5407.
St. Vital constituency report
Jamie Moses is the NDP MLA for St. Vital.