September 30, 2021
Today marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. Since 2013, this day has been observed as Orange Shirt Day, which aims to recognize the history of residential schools and the aggressive assimilation of Indigenous peoples. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), under Action 80, proposed to establish a statutory holiday, “to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
For more than a century, Indian Residential Schools operated in Canada, and their legacy contributes to racial inequities that continue to exist today. The National Consortium for Indigenous Medical Education (NCIME) was formed to provide leadership and support to our partners as they fulfil their collective responsibilities to respond to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the TRC’s Calls to Action, and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice. The consortium supports the implementation of Calls to Action 23 and 24 and is committed to transparent reporting on progress. The NCIME is focused on creating change in the Canadian medical system by fostering leadership development in Indigenous medical learners, developing anti-racism policies and processes, improving gaps in education, and closing gaps in health outcomes.
In honour and recognition of the children who were forcibly taken to these schools and the resilience of the survivors, we invite you to educate yourself and reflect on the history and continued impacts of colonialism and commit to at least one individual and one collective contribution to action. We stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and recognize with much appreciation the efforts of those working towards reconciliation.
We are including a list of resources for those interested in learning more.
- Structural racism review by the Yellowhead Institute
- How to talk to your kids about residential school
- Healing Conversations: A Learning Journey from the Heart
- National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Universities and Schools must acknowledge how colonial education has reproduced anti-indigenous racism
- 2021 Group of Six Colouring and Activity Book