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September 30 marks the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation has been established to encourage all Canadians to face the legacy of the residential school system and its generational impacts on indigenous communities who had their members forced to attend those institutions as children. It is also a day for all Canadians to reflect upon their roles in acknowledging past harms and advancing the cause of reconciliation.
The Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) are on their own journey of reconciliation as they work to rebuild their nation through the negotiation of a modern treaty with Ontario and Canada.
“Our treaty is an important step toward rectifying past injustices and revitalizing our Algonquin Nation. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a reminder of the significance of this work. The treaty process is reconciliation in action,” said Chief Wendy Jocko of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation.
On August 30, the federal government announced over $4 million in funding for 278 community projects across the country, a national commemorative gathering on September 30, and a weeklong education program for Canadian students in grades 1 through 12 from September 26 to 29.
“Education is key. We can’t have reconciliation without a shared knowledge and understanding of our history as a country. The good, the bad, and the ugly,” said Chief Doreen Davis of Shabot Obaadjiwan.
On September 30, APTN and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation are collaborating on Remembering the Children: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a live broadcast from LeBreton Flats Park in Ottawa honouring the survivors, families, and communities impacted by the residential school system.
“There is a great deal to reflect upon this year. The visit by Pope Francis and the passing of Queen Elizabeth II – the church and the monarchy loom large in our history as indigenous people in this country. The ongoing discoveries that shed light on the true history of the residential school system. The world is changing in significant ways, and
we need to ensure it is changing for the better. Reconciliation is vitally important,” said Chief Richard Zohr of Bonnechere.
The AOO Consultation Office will be closed on September 30.
Senior Communication Advisor
Algonquins of Ontario Consultation Office