Recognizing Truth and Reconciliation Day: A Journey Towards Healing

September 29, 2023


September 30th marks The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, which serves as a solemn reminder of Canada’s dark history, shaped by the legacy of residential schools and their lasting impact on Indigenous communities. It calls upon all Canadians to unite in the spirit of healing, understanding, and reconciliation. 


In honour of Truth and Reconciliation Day, Shetin Adams and Christiana Chan co-hosted a discussion to raise awareness and enhance understanding of mainstream terms and philosophies related to Indigenous sovereignty and activism. 


Recognizing this Day is essential because it acknowledges the past, promotes reconciliation, honors survivors and their families, and fosters education about Indigenous cultures and challenges. It compels us to confront our history honestly, paving the way for healing and progress. Active engagement in reconciliation efforts acknowledges the resilience of Indigenous communities and contributes to building a more inclusive and equitable Canada, where the rights and voices of Indigenous peoples are respected and celebrated. 


Here are some resources to aid you on your journey: 




  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian 
    • Sherman Alexie, 2007 
  • The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America 
    • Hartley GoodWeather, 2012 
  • Probably Ruby 
    • Lisa Bird-Wilson, 2020 
  • Your Intuition Led You Here 
    • Alex Naranjo and Marlene Vargas, 2021 
  • Little Big Bully 
    • Heid E. Erdrich, 2020 


    • “There are 476 million Indigenous people around the world and spread across more than 90 countries. They belong to more than 5,000 different Indigenous peoples and speak more than 4,000 languages. Indigenous people represent about 5% of the world’s population. The vast majority of them – 70% – live in Asia.” 


    • Native Land Digital strives to create and foster conversations about the history of colonialism, Indigenous ways of knowing, and settler-Indigenous relations, through educational resources such as our map and Territory Acknowledgement Guide.” 
    • “Each year, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.” 


Actionable Steps 

  • Learn About Indigenous History 
    • Dedicate time to educate yourself about the history, culture, and experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Read books, watch documentaries, and listen to Indigenous voices to gain a deeper understanding. 
  • Listen and Amplify Indigenous Voices 
    • Make an effort to actively listen to Indigenous voices and perspectives. Follow Indigenous activists, artists, and leaders on social media, attend Indigenous-led events, and share their messages to amplify their voices. 
  • Attend Truth and Reconciliation Events 
    • Participate in local Truth and Reconciliation Day events, such as ceremonies, discussions, or workshops. These events provide opportunities to learn, reflect, and engage with Indigenous communities. 
  • Acknowledge Indigenous Territory 
    • Begin meetings, presentations, or gatherings by acknowledging the traditional Indigenous territory on which you are located. Learn the names of local Indigenous nations and use them in land acknowledgments. 
  • Support Indigenous-Owned Businesses 
    • Seek out and support Indigenous-owned businesses, artists, and artisans. This can contribute to economic empowerment within Indigenous communities. 
  • Advocate for Reconciliation Initiatives 
    • Advocate for government policies and initiatives that support reconciliation, such as the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). 
  • Engage in Cultural Exchange 
    • Explore opportunities for cultural exchange with Indigenous communities. Participate in cultural events, workshops, or community projects that promote cross-cultural understanding. 
  • Contribute to Indigenous Causes 
    • Donate to Indigenous organizations and initiatives that support education, health, cultural revitalization, and community development. Ensure that your contributions are directed where they are needed most. 
  • Support Indigenous Education 
    • Advocate for and support Indigenous education initiatives in schools, colleges, and universities. Encourage the inclusion of Indigenous history and perspectives in curricula. 
  • Reflect and Self-Examine 
    • Take time to reflect on your own biases and assumptions. Challenge stereotypes and prejudices you may hold, and work on unlearning harmful behaviors. 
  • Engage in Meaningful Conversations 
    • Initiate respectful and open conversations with friends, family, and colleagues about the importance of reconciliation and Truth and Reconciliation Day. Encourage others to join the dialogue. 
  • Commit to Long-Term Change 
    • Understand that reconciliation is an ongoing process that requires sustained effort. Make a long-term commitment to learning, supporting, and advocating for Indigenous rights and well-being. Remember that meaningful change and reconciliation require collective effort and a commitment to building respectful and inclusive relationships with Indigenous peoples.