2021 will be the first observance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Put in place in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, this day is to function as a public reminder that "commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process." While many provinces have followed this announcement with their own plans to mark the Federal statutory holiday, it is up to us as citizens of this nation to mark it in the spirit it was created to honor.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission ultimately made 94 Calls to Action, ranging from the creation of this day of commemoration to instituting comprehensive education on the subject to recognizing land rights. Each of these Calls to Action stems from a concrete, systemic, and historic abuse by the Government of Canada and the people it is made up of. In short, either directly or indirectly, every citizen of Canada.
Core to many of the Calls to Action is one of education. This is because that through education we can all better ourselves and our future. While much of this education is to be focused with children, we adults too need to learn. Because "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
So please join us in marking this first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with learning from the mistakes of the past so that we can grow our understanding, respect, and vigilance against the kinds of thought that would drag us backward instead of ever forward.
For additional reading and resources, please see the National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation website.