We are grateful to have facilitated this event
September 30, 2021 and 2022.
* Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada no longer facilitates this event
and this site is not updated since 2022.
Thank you for supporting us.*
1st & 2nd National Day of Truth and Reconciliation
CALLING ALL NATIONS. UNITE TO REMEMBER THE CHILDREN, UNITE TO SUPPORT SURVIVORS
and empower the next generations.
A Day Led By Children & Youth
A national gathering to memorialize the children that never came home from school and support Indigenous children & families affected by the Indian Residential Schools and all Indigenous child apprehension programs.
For the safety of Elders, we will practice social distancing, masks and vaccinations recommended.
Memorializing the children who didn't come home from school
Honouring school Survivors and their families
Honouring Survivors of Indigenous child apprehension programs
Eagle Feather Ceremony for Survivors
Performances by Children to Survivors
Little Shoe Memorial - bring little shoes to memorialize the children
Guest speaker, Autumn Peltier
Documentary screening, Water Walker with Autumn Peltier (live stream only at 11:30 following ceremony)
Art Installation: Augatnaaq Eccles; Threading our Beads at Quliktalik
Art Installation: Cali Baldwin, Tyendinaga Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) Territory
gathering and embracing the sacredness of childhood
intertribal • all nations • unified
a public event in the name of truth and reconciliation
Led by Indigenous & Canadian Children in 2022!
we always knew they were buried there
but no one would listen; our secret kept safe from Canadians.
'Remember Me: A National Day of Remembrance' initiative was birthed immediately after the discovery of the massive unmarked grave of 215 Indigenous children at the Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia. Since writing this, the number of unmarked graves has risen above 1200.
We prepare now for more discoveries, the excavation of the little ones and brace ourselves for two thousand more.
These developments coincide with the federal government’s decision to establish a statutory holiday on September 30th.
This day must be preserved as a national day of awareness and remembrance.
2406 children are confirmed buried in unmarked graves (as of May 2022).
12 of 139 residential schools confirmed to hide dead children (as of May 2022).
Over 150,000 children confirmed to attend shools 1870-1997
Only 1 in 50 (4100) dead children are actually identified by school records (Nat. Centre Truth Reconciliation)
Out of 215 Kamloops graves, only 51 were recorded dead by school officials
These numbers researched using reputable news outlets who coordinate with Indigenous leaders on territories searched.
Honoured to be working with guest speaker, Autumn Peltier
Autumn's documentary, 'Water Walker', will be live streamed after the Parliament Hill ceremony (11:30am)
About WATER WALKER
Autumn Peltier is the Chief Water Commissioner for the Anishinabek Nation and an Indigenous Rights & Water activist whose journey for justice has made waves around the globe.
Peltier captivated the world's attention at the age of 12 when she admonished Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at an Assembly of First Nations event, for the choices he had made for her people and lack of support. She spoke her mind which led him to make her a promise, "I will protect the water." It's that promise to which she holds him accountable still today.
At 13, Peltier spoke at the UN General Assembly. Amongst many accolades she's received the Sovereign Medal of Exceptional Volunteerism from the Governor-General of Canada and Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. She's been a featured speaker at The World Economic Forum,has been shortlisted for the International Children's Peace Prize 4 times, and in 2021 was featured in Maclean's Top 50 Canadian Power List. In 2022; Peltier was an Honorary Doctorate Inductee from Royal Roads University, received the Daniel G Hill Award from Ontario Human Rights Commission as well as the Emerging Canadian Leader Award from Public Policy Forum.
In the spring of this year Autumn’s movie “The Water Walker” documentary produced by Seeing Red Six Nations was released on HBO Canada.
Honoured to be working beside
the Michaëlle Jean Foundation and Mme Michaëlle Jean, former Governor General of Canada on our project, "Remember Me: A National Day of Remembrance'. She is truly a force for equality.
"With our eyes on the future, we are now working with the Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada, a non-profit organization led by Indigenous women, to support commemoration activities, awareness raising and learning event that will take place on September 30, National Truth and Reconciliation Day. Because art has this power to unite, to act on consciences, to join hearts and minds."
FORMER GOVERNOR GENERAL OF CANADA AND FORMER SECRETARY GENERAL OF LA FRANCOPHONIE
Round Dance • Education
2021 Donated Sweet Grass and Black Ash Basketry
And letter from the artist...
Sweetgrass and Black Ash Baskets created by Artists: (left) Debbie Cook-Jacobs, and (right) Nanci Ransom, both of Akwesasne, Made at National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, September 30, 2021 with contributions by participants with Remember Me: A National Day of Remembrance.
Baskets are now on display here: Native North American Traveling College. Akwesasne, Cornwall Island, Ontario
Baskets are now on display at Native North American Traveling College. Akwesasne, Cornwall Island, Ontario
I wore my orange shirt today, but everyone just looked away.
the next time you see me, I hope you'll say
that you'll walk beside me any day.
Indigenous Child Apprehension in Canada.
Indigenous child apprehension and assimilation can be defined as carefully planned programming by church and state with the common goal of eradicating Indigenous cultures (genocide).
Indian Residential School System •
Sixties Scoop •
Aim program (adopt an indian or métis)•
Unpacking: ‘a national day of truth and reconciliation’.
September 30th has now been coined by the federal government as, ‘National Day for Truth and Reconciliation’.
Update (July 29th, 2021): September 30th is now officially a paid holiday for federal employees.
We must ensure that this day remains to be a day of remembrance for Indigenous people and a day of education for Canadians and their children.
September 30th is known as Orange Shirt Day.
Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981) Commemoration Project and Reunion events that took place in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in May 2013. Orange Shirt Day is the vision of Alkali Lake Chief Fred Robbins, a survivor of residential school.
The Orange Shirt represents the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad who, on her first day at residential school, had her bright new orange shirt taken away from her. It was given to her by her grandmother, she was six years old.
September 30th has quickly become part of the curriculum in our public and separate school boards, churches and organizations. In 2020 it is estimated that over 15,000 teachers and over 600,000 students acknowledged September 30 as Orange Shirt Day.
‘A national day of truth and reconciliation’ is a term adopted from the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission was initiated as a result of a survivor court settlement and paid for with $60-million from church and state.
Every penny donated to Remember Me: A National Day of Remembrance will be used to memorialize the children that never came home from school, support survivors and families on September 30th.
IN 2021 WE RAISED $2860.00 FOR PHYLLIS'S ORANGE SHIRT SOCIETY!
September 30th National Remembrance Day
Statutory holidays and days of reflection and education.
Canadians place high value in preserving November 11th to honour those who lost their lives for the freedoms of their children.
September 30th should be no different. Canadians should honour and memorialize each child who never came home from school.
As a new statutory holiday, September 30th should embrace similar respect and be clearly reflected in school curriculum and workplace activities surrounding the day. Our goal is to cultivate understanding and equality, meaningful reflection and most importantly, education that reflects the true history of our ancestors.
How can you help?
Create awareness. Support Indigenous led business and organizations.
Most of all, allies can put into practice the 94 Calls to Action defined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
In your schools, your place of work, your church and your community, practice the calls to action!
We propose a national vision for September 30th including but not limited to:
- National opening address and prayer on Parliament Hill,
- Teaching true history of Indian residential schools and all child apprehension programs,
- Teaching history and meaning of Orange Shirt Day and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,
- Moment of silence (or cultural equivalent) across Canada at 11am,
- The wearing of Orange Shirts,
- Lowering flags to half mast across the nation,
- Creating spaces for public and private ceremony,
- Freedom to unobstructed walks and vigils,
- Creating educational spaces and events in lieu of or in addition to regular school day,
- Making spaces for public events of cultural significance across Canada.
"Orange shirts and ribbon skirts,
moccasins and a feather,
women and the spirits of our ancestors,
all walking together."
Mutually beneficial partnerships and humble donations.
We retain the determination to preserve Orange Shirt Day and intend to develop protocols that will respect September 30th as ‘a day of truth and reconciliation’.
Remember Me is intended to be an inclusive, annual day of remembrance that will meaningfully honour the dead, the survivors, the families and communities that grieve. It is also a day to show unity in our efforts to bridge the gap between Canadians and Indigenous people; it is an opportunity to embrace diversity and promote equality. Above all, it will encourage dialog, active citizenship and social responsibility in our youth.
We are hoping for mutually beneficial partnerships as well as humble donations from businesses and people that will honour the purpose of the day. With a focus on healing, we will not able to accommodate any presentations or marketing that does not serve to promote the mental and spiritual health of our families and communities.
We know that community gatherings create strong relationships
and strong relationships create communities.
We also know that healthy communities are happier communities.
We have an opportunity to facilitate healing; to acknowedge our past and love our future.
Join us and become part of the reconciliation movement.
Respecting the land and the people
While Ottawa is home for many different Indigenous nations, we all acknowledge that we will be having this event on the unceeded and unsurrendered land of the Algonquin people.
Much effort has gone into safety, protocols and communications with the Algonquins. We are honoured to have Claudette Commanda as our Algonquin Elder for opening ceremony on Parliament Hill with Louise Wakerakats:se Herne, Condoled Kanien'keha:ka (Mohawk) Bear Clan Mother and Jonel Beauvais, Wolf Clan both of Akwesasne representing the Haudenosaunee community and presenting the Empty Cradleboard Mandate.
We are an intertribal Indigenous women led non profit organization and we're honoured to facilitate our work on Algonquin land. Please reach out to collaborate and/or contribute to this meaningful memorial ceremony. All nations day of unity for the sacredness of Indigenous grandmothers, mothers and children.
In the spring of 2021, my friend's granddaughter Cali, was inspired to create a beautiful t-shirt design to raise awareness about the Indian residential school system. Cali raised funds and bought books for her school so that her classmates would learn more about the history of her people, the Mohawks. Funds from this year's initiative will again be used to expand awareness and continue to educate your youth about residential schools and their lasting impact.
Let's support Cali!
With much thanks from Dawn Iehstoseranón:nha (She Keeps The Feathers), Founder and President, Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada and owner at Pass The Feather.
Click this link to buy Every Child Matters • We're Still Here • By Cali
This initiative presented by Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada
An Indigenous women led, non profit organization carrying National Arts Service Organization Designation by Department of Canadian Heritage with registered charity status #801401274RR0001