September 30th … Orange Shirt Day … National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
I am sad that so many children were lost and families torn apart and continue to be devastated by the actions of others. I am sad that I didn’t know about Residential Schools until well into adulthood.
I was born in 1975 and raised in Port Alberni, BC until I was 15 years old. I went to school with just a few Indigenous children, which, looking back on it, seems odd that there weren’t more Indigenous children in my classes growing up. It was a small town in a largely Indigenous populated area. Were they in Residential Schools ?! Did people I knew, know ?!
As a child, I didn’t know about Residential Schools. I find it strange that I was an adult with children of my own in school before I even heard the words Residential Schools … strange, sad … wrong is more like it.
Why is it that the LAST Residential School CLOSED in Saskatchewan in 1996 ?! This was THREE YEARS after i graduated high school. How did I not know ?! It wasn’t talked about in our schools, family or social groups. I didn’t know and it breaks my heart that I didn’t know for so long …
The question then becomes, would it have changed me or my path HAD i known at a younger age ?! Maybe … maybe not. While I consider myself a compassionate person, I would like to think that had i known earlier, I would have worked a little harder. Tried to learn more earlier … become involved in being an advocate and helping to use my voice in any way i could.
I am learning now. I am reading and watching all that I can, and listening with and open heart and mind. I encourage you to do the same.
Even if you aren’t able to do more, learning is a big step in the right direction to standing beside the survivors and their families and honoring the children who never made it home.
Here are some links to resources that i am working through and can be beneficial in opening the discussion in your home so that your children don’t grow up not knowing …
If you are reading this and you or someone you know needs support, you can call:
Support For Residential School Survivors – in BC #1.877.477.0775
National Residential School Crisis Line #1.866.925.4419
I hope you all are able to take some time today to stop, reflect, remember and learn.
Until Next Time … j. XOX
#NDTR2021 #orangeshirtday #wewearorange #TRCCanada #truthandreconciliation #nationaldayfortruthandreconciliation