As our country officially recognizes the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation this year on September 30, it is more important than ever that we not turn away from the realities of Canada’s history and present. The discoveries of the mass graves of children at former residential schools and unmarked graves in their vicinities are heartbreaking reminders of the devastating impact these schools had and continue to have on Indigenous communities and individuals. On this national day of reflection, we mourn for the countless children who remain lost and the generations of Indigenous people hurt by the residential school system and who continue to experience racism and discrimination today.
We support the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action; we echo the TRC’s calls to the federal government to make documents public, develop and maintain the National Residential School Student Death Register as well as an online registry of residential school cemeteries, and develop and implement strategies and procedures for the identification, documentation, maintenance, commemoration, and protection of residential school cemeteries.
A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available to provide 24hr support to former residential school students and those affected by calling 1.866.925.4419. Additionally, the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) can be reached toll-free at 1.800.721.0066 or online (see below).
Burlington Public Library is located on the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.