September 30 is now the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history of residential schools and their lasting legacies is an essential part of the reconciliation process. It is also Orange Shirt Day, a day of remembrance organized by Indigenous communities to pay tribute to residential school survivors and to remember those who did not survive.
On September 30, come and walk with us in solidarity at 1 p.m. at Place du Canada (near Peel and René-Lévesque).
The discovery of more than 6,500 children's bodies in former residential school sites has brought back heavy memories in Indigenous communities in Canada. From 1831 to 1998, 140 Indian residential schools were administered by the federal government in Canada. The last boarding school closed its doors only 23 years ago.
Residential schools were present here in Quebec as well and it is a collective responsibility to learn, understand and carry this truth together to forge new paths together in solidarity with the experiences of the aboriginal nations of Quebec. Here is a resource to get started right now:
For those in need, on this united but difficult day, mental health resources exist:
Former residential school students can call 1-866-925-4419 for emotional crisis referral services and information about other health support services offered by the Government of Canada.
The Hope for Wellbeing Hotline is also available and provides immediate assistance to Indigenous people in Canada, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Dial 1-855-242-3310 or join the online chat.