Reaching Out for Peace and Justice for All on Canada’s Second Annual  National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Posted by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large on September 30th, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

On this second year of Canada observing a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, I am posting a classic old song by one of my favourite people, singer/songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie – a song that got her in trouble with a whole bunch of pre-Trump, right-wing extremists in the United States back in the early 1960s.

As blacklisted as she was by these fascists, she has outlasted them and was here in Niagara, Ontario, performing in concert at the OntarioFirst Performing Arts Center in St. Catharines just this past September at a celebration for indigenous peoples.

To watch her perform the song at another recent concert, click on the screen below –

Here is a  Statement from the Town of Lincoln Honouring National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Lincoln, ON – (September 30, 2022)  – Today is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/national-day-truth-reconciliation.html) .

On this day, we encourage everyone to wear orange to remember the children who never returned home from residential school and to honour the Survivors and their communities.

Town of Lincoln Mayor Sandra Eason

We honour those lost and the survivors, families and communities who continue to grieve. All Canadians need to recognize the uncomfortable and enduring effect of the residential school system on generations of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples. We encourage residents of Lincoln and nationwide to renew their commitment to understanding the truth and moving towards reconciliation.

All flags will be lowered to half-mast at our facilities, and we have raised the Every Child Matters Flag  (https://nctr.ca/education/every-child-matters/) at Town Hall. Town Hall will be illuminated orange in recognition of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

We invite you to join staff and take a moment of reflection today. In addition, the staff at the Town of Lincoln had the opportunity to participate in various learning opportunities throughout the week.

Reconciliation is not a destination; it is an ongoing commitment. Below are some examples of partnerships and educational opportunities that can continue the dialogue and encourage a better understanding of, and support for First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.

To learn more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report’s 94 Calls to Action (https://nctr.ca/records/reports/) , visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (https://nctr.ca/records/reports/) .

Led by Music for the Spirit from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory | Lincoln Pelham Public Library – Fleming Branch

Friday, September 30, 2022

* Art Workshops – 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Led by Indigenous youth instructors, follow step-by-step to create artwork representing truth and reconciliation. • acrylic • watercolour • pencil sketch

* Dance Demonstration – 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Learn traditional dances with a Haudenosaunee elder.

* Opening Teachings – 4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  | Drumming and dance social celebrating and honouring Indigenous culture and the path forward.

Sandra Easton, Mayor, Town of Lincoln in Niagara, Ontario

A Brief Note here from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

Canada’s Prime Minister and his wife Sophie, enjoyying a day along a beach at a resort \n British Columbia during the first annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This while native leaders and Canadians across the country used the day to remember victims of residential schools. file photo

A year ago today, on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, our Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chose to “celebrate it” at a seashore estate in British Columbia, where he and his wife enjoyed a bit of a holiday while, not that far away, Indigneous leaders were at the site of a former residential school where more than 100 unmarked graves for indigenous children had recently been found.

To call Trudeau’s decision to walk beaches on that day “tone deaf” would be an insult to people who are called tone deaf simply becaucse they can’t sing a song on key – just like we were taught to sing songs off key by what passed for music teachers back in public school.

Speaking of public school, it may be interesting to note that children in Canada were still not taught anything about residential schools back in the late 1960s and through the  1970s .and early 1980s when Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre Elloitt Trudeau, was Canada’s Prime Minister. Seems that Pierre Trudeau’s ratification of a Constitution and Bill of Rights for Canadians had little or nothing to do with the country’s First People.

At any rate, here is a Statement on this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation from Canada’s current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today (this September 30th)  issued the following statement on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:

File photo of Justin Trudeau.

“Today, we mark the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – an opportunity to come together to reflect on the legacy of residential schools and the ongoing impacts on Survivors, their families and communities, as well as commit to continuing the hard, but necessary work to build a better future for all.

“Between 1831 and 1998, at least 150,000 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children were forcibly removed from their families and communities to attend residential schools, where they had to abandon their languages, cultures, spiritualities, traditions, and identities. Many experienced physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, and thousands never came home. The experiences and intergenerational trauma of these so-called schools continue to live on for Indigenous Peoples across the country every single day.

“It is our shared responsibility to confront the legacy of residential schools and the ongoing impacts on Indigenous Peoples, so we can truly move forward together. That is why, last year, Parliament voted unanimously to establish the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as an opportunity for all Canadians to learn more, honour the Survivors of residential schools, their families, and their communities, and remember the many children who never returned home. Reconciliation is not the responsibility of Indigenous Peoples – it is the responsibility of all Canadians. It is our responsibility to continue to listen and to learn.

“This past July, His Holiness Pope Francis offered an apology to Survivors, their families, and their communities here in Canada, and recognized the abuses experienced at residential schools that resulted in cultural destruction, loss of life, and ongoing trauma for Indigenous Peoples across the country. It was a step forward in all the work that remains and a reminder that we still have more to do.

We will continue to be there to support the painful but necessary work to locate unmarked graves, and to support Survivors as they tell their stories, including through the efforts of the Independent Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites, Kimberly Murray, who was appointed this past June. We are also ensuring the appropriate supports are available for communities to heal and commemorate the lives that were lost.

“Last month, alongside the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation leadership, Survivors, and members of Indigenous communities, I witnessed the Survivors’ Flag raising on Parliament Hill to honour Survivors and all the lives that have been or continue to be impacted by the residential school system.

The flag serves as a reminder of the government’s commitment to Survivors and future generations to never forget what happened at these so-called schools. Over the last year, we updated Canada’s Oath of Citizenship to recognize First Nations, Inuit, and Métis rights, and introduced legislation to establish a National Council for Reconciliation to track and report on the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. Through the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, we continue to work with Indigenous Peoples to ensure their human rights are fully recognized, respected, and protected.

“On this day, which is also known as Orange Shirt Day, I invite everyone to listen to Survivors and learn more about the history and legacy of the residential school system by participating in a local event or wearing an orange shirt. Let’s take a moment today to participate, learn, and reflect. We all have a role to play on the journey toward reconciliation.”

If you need someone to talk to, a National Residential School Crisis Line offers emotional support and crisis referral services for residential school Survivors and their families. Call the toll-free Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Hope for Wellness Help Line also offers support to all Indigenous Peoples. Counsellors are available by phone or online chat. This service is available in English and French, and, upon request, in Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut. Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat at www.hopeforwellness.ca.

Here is a news commentary Doug Draper at Niagara At Large wrote on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s vacation during the first 2021 National Day of Truth and Reconciliation – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2021/10/03/how-many-ways-can-justin-trudeau-continue-failing-us-as-a-leader/

Finally, another great song from Indigenous singer/songwriter Willie Dunn that you can click on immediately below –

NAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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