Local events to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: September 26, 2022 9:00 a.m.

Orange shirts on sale at the University of Regina Campus Store.
Orange shirts on sale at the University of Regina Campus Store. Photo credit: University Advancement and Communications

As the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation approaches on September 30, community groups are preparing to honour the children who never returned home from and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.

The Government of Canada established the statutory holiday in 2021 in response to Call to Action 80 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Call to Action 80 stipulates that “public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”

There are events going on across the country, province, in our city – and on campus.

Here are some of the ways that you can show your support for this important day:

Participate in Miyo-wîcîwitowin Day at Mosaic Stadium

Miyo-wîcîwitowin Day at Mosaic Stadium, of which the University of Regina is a sponsor, is scheduled for September 29 in advance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It’s intended to provide people with the knowledge and information necessary to take pause and reflect on the statutory holiday.

The free event is open to the public although registration is required.

It will include survivor stories, music, dance, keynote speakers, and a presentation to advance the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.

The organizing committee said in a press release that the event is intended to move forward on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s statement that for reconciliation to happen, “there has to be awareness of the past, an acknowledgement of the harm that has been inflicted, atonement for the causes, and action to change behavior.”

Residential school survivors over the age of 65 (and their support people) at the event are being offered the opportunity to take it in from the quiet, safe spaces in the Alumni Lounge and on the Champions Deck.

Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme, Co-chair of the Miyo-wîcîwitowin Day event, said in the press release that it’s “a time to show how better change is coming to help in healing and empowering them and their kinship.”

Wear orange

Orange Shirt Day, a grassroots, Indigenous-led movement, takes place each year on September 30. It began in 2013 after survivor Phyllis Webstad shared the story of how in 1973, her new orange shirt from her grandmother, was stripped from her on her first day at St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School.

While the University of Regina will be closed on September 30, the campus community is encouraged to mark Orange Shirt Day early on September 29 by wearing orange to campus that day.

Attend a talk or lecture

The Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy is hosting an Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) public lecture called “What does the future of Indigenous governance look like?” The lecture, which is presented by faculty lecturer Danette Starblanket and postdoctoral fellow Kurtis Boyer, will be moderated by executive-in-residence Merelda Fiddler-Potter. It will take place in College Avenue campus building (CB 308) from 12 to 1:30 p.m. on September 28. There will also be a Zoom link made available. Registration is required.

Lisa Bird-Wilson, the award-winning Metis-Cree author of Probably Ruby and The Red Files, will share from her books at the Regina Public Library’s central branch on September 30 from 12 to 1 p.m. The presentation of her works, which reflect on the legacy of the residential school system, will be preceded by an honour song performed by a drum group and conclude with a healing dance from a jingle dancer. This is a free, drop-in event.

Residential school survivor and life speaker Tim Poitras will be in conversation with nationally-published journalist Brad Bellegarde at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum from 2:30 until 3:30 p.m. on September 30. Bellegarde is also known as hip-hop artist InfoRed. InfoRed will be performing at this event as well. Pre-registration is appreciated.

 Truth & Reconciliation is one of five areas of focus in the University of Regina's [2020-2025 Strategic Plan kahkiyaw kiwȃhkomȃkȃninawak – All Our Relations]. We strive to honour and integrate Indigenous ways of knowing and being in our teaching and research endeavours.