Today, September 30th, 2021, is the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
As Emilee Gilpin, Managing Editor of Indiginews, recently outlined in their newsletter on Monday, September 27th: “before reconciliation, we need to tell the truth, we need to be made aware of the facts, we need to dismantle decades of intentional ignorance with reality. Only then can we be positioned to come together with one heart and mind, to co-create a future we can all be a part of, we can all be proud of.”
One of the best ways to learn the heavy truths of Canada’s past and present treatment of Indigenous peoples is to listen, learn from and believe the stories of residential "school" survivors and Indigenous folks who still suffer injustice in 2021.
Today is a day to center and amplify the voices of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples whose voices, languages, and traditions were stripped away in residential "schools", and who are still silenced and marginalized to this day.
The following stories and resources listed below contain potentially triggering information.
Former Residential School students can call 1-866-925-4419 for emotional crisis referral services and information on other health supports from the Government of Canada.
Indigenous peoples across Canada can also go to The Hope for Wellness Help Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for counseling and crisis intervention. Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca.
Yesterday, our operations team took the time to share with each other the voices and stories of a few Indigenous peoples:
and John Jones
If you are looking for a way to observe the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we encourage your team, group of friends, family, or community to do something similar. Learn these hard truths. Discuss what you have learned and are learning with others to amplify these stories and ensure they are not forgotten, as we move towards reconciliation. Hold each other accountable to continue doing this work throughout the year - not just on September 30th.
As part of our continued learning, our operations team has a weekly book club. We are currently reading and discussing 'Me and White Supremacy' by Layla F. Saad. Our next book will be either 'The Inconvenient Indian' by Thomas King, or '21 Things You May Not Know About The Indian Act' by Bob Joseph.
Every September 30th in Canada will be a National day of mourning but also a day to remember that we must do better. Individually as settlers and collectively as a country we must recognize that this isn’t a historical issue, it’s a current one.
Additional suggested resources are listed below:
Articles & Reports:
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Review the 94 Calls to Action
- Missing and Murdered Indigenous People: The Report
- Missing and Murdered Indigenous People via CBC
- Calls to Action Accountability: A 2020 Status Update on Reconciliation
Organizations to support:
- The Orange Shirt Day
- Indigenous Residential School Survivors
- Legacy of Hope Foundation
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation - University of Manitoba
- The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund
- The Witness Blanket
- Save the Evidence Campaign
- Circles for Reconciliation
- Reconciliation Canada
- 4Rs Youth Movement
- Canadian Roots Exchange
- Native Women’s Association of Canada
- Indspire: Indigenous Education
- Native Canadian Center of Toronto
- First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
- Call for a National Day of Mourning for the Lost Children of Residential School - Change.org Petition
- e-3466 (Indigenous affairs) Petition
- “Indigenous Canada” - A free course offered by the University of Alberta, Faculty of Native Studies
- Canada’s Residential Schools - Canadian Geographic x Google Earth
TheraPsil’s team operates as visitors in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, the unceded homelands of the Lək̓ʷəŋən peoples, represented by the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations. Our team also works from unceded səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territory in North Vancouver, BC, and unceded Anishinabewaki & Haudenosaunee Territories in Toronto, ON. To identify the unceded Traditional Territory you are a guest on, visit Native-Land.ca.
As a team composed of mostly settlers, we acknowledge, with peace and respect, that we are visitors and guests on this land. We also acknowledge that the substances we advocate for, in a western-medical context, psilocybin mushrooms, have been used for thousands of years by Indigenous communities across the globe for healing and ceremonial purposes. The modern psychedelic therapy movement would not exist without Indigenous knowledge keepers who are the original custodians of this medicine.