Indigenous peoples, communities and culture are a rich and important part of our nation’s history and identity. The residential school system was, and continues to be, a tragic legacy in Canada’s story and a reminder that discrimination, violence and inequality were, and still are, pervasive issues in Indigenous and Canadian society. Therefore, it is important for us to see, to hear and to believe the Indigenous voices and positions on the intergenerational harm that residential schools have caused, and how we can come together in unity, understanding, and action on these issues.
September 30 is Canada’s first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation; it is also international Orange Shirt Day. Both events recognize and acknowledge the history of Canada’s residential schools, honour their survivors, and remember those whose voices have been lost. It is an important day, and step, for Indigenous peoples and all Canadians, in the learning and discussion of, and the healing and understanding process that comes next. The color orange shows solidarity with this messaging, and is an important visual for all in ensuring that Indigenous voices are seen, are heard, and are believed.
On September 30, our studios will be closed in honour of the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We encourage our community to use this day to reflect, remember and honour the children and families that were part of Canada’s residential school system, and to learn more about the path to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and communities across our nation.
Below are links to relevant resources, as well as ceremonies and events in Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary for the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation that you can attend and learn more about:
- CIFRS National Day of Truth & Reconciliation | Southcentre Mall, 100 Anderson Road Southeast, Calgary | To Do Canada
- Events | Community Knowledge Centre (calgaryfoundation.org)
- How Calgary will be observing the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation | Listed (dailyhive.com)
For the architecture industry, incorporating traditional ways of knowing into the design process is a unique opportunity to work with Indigenous peoples and to reflect their cultures and voices; It is an opportunity to rethink equity, diversity and inclusion in our built environment. Below is an article from Canadian Architect providing resources that may be of interest to architects and designers for learning and consideration: