Tomorrow, September 30th, marks the first-ever National Day of Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday in Canada.
It’s a holiday that was requested in one of the 94 Calls to Action delivered with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report (TRC) in 2015. Six years later, the Canadian government has finally made good on this request, and a handful of other calls to action. But with progress to meet these goals moving at a snail’s pace, it’s clear we can’t leave this important work in the hands of officials—we must also take this work on ourselves.
As a settler organization, Greenpeace Canada (GPCA) has its own work to do to unlearn the colonial world views we’ve been indoctrinated with and that we have played a role in perpetuating. Through thoughtful, and more informed decisions we’re determined to be better allies, settlers, and neighbours, today and going forward with the goal of always uplifting Indigenous rights, sovereignty, and safety.
GPCA will be closed for the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation with the caveat that GPCA staff use this day to take time to be reflective and take action. Many of our GPCA colleagues have already pledged to donate their wages for the day to Indigenous-led organizations, and others will be engaging in non-monetary action. As a further step we’re also embarking on a collective goal to read (or in some cases re-read) and discuss the full TRC report as an organization. This involves taking time to read each chapter individually, and coming together every few months to reflect, discuss, and learn how the TRC report can inform both our personal choices and decisions, and our work.
Below we’ve collected a list of great resources and content that each of us can turn to in order to support Indigenous communities, not only on National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, but every day.
Here are some ways you can take action:
Donate to Indigenous organizations:
- Donate to support counselling and other services for residential school survivors and their families: Indian Residential School Survivors Society
- Donate to support First Nations child and family service agencies: First Nations Child & Family Caring Society
- Donate to support advocacy for Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people: Native Women’s Association of Canada
- Donate to support Indigenous communities fighting legal battles for their land and rights: Raven Trust
- Donate one day’s pay to support Indigenous projects, movements, organizations and nations: One Day’s Pay
- Donate to support Indigenous-led climate justice: Indigenous Climate Action
- Donate to support education and raising awareness about the impacts of residential schools: Legacy of Hope Foundation
- Donate to support land defenders who are working to prevent the Trans Mountain Pipeline from crossing unceded Secwépemc territory: Tiny House Warriors
- Donate to support the land defenders, Unist’ot’en youth and Wet’suwet’en Elders who are working to prevent Tar Sands and Fracking Gas pipelines through unceded Unist’ot’en territory: Unist’ot’en Camp
- Donate to support Black and Indigenous individuals and communities: The Black Indigenous Harm Reduction Alliance
- Donate to Indigenous organizations that provide shelter and programs to rebuild the lives of women, children and men in each province: B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I, Yukon, Nunavut & NWT
Deepen your knowledge of Canada’s colonial past and present:
Learn more about residential schools and the TRC’s Calls to Action:
- Join us and many others as we pledge to read the TRC report: The TRC Reading Challenge
- The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report and Calls to Action
- A version of the TRC report that is accessible for youth: Spirit Bear’s Guide to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
- Calls to Action Accountability: A 2020 Status Update on Reconciliation
- National Day of Truth and Reconciliation Course Bundle
- Reading list: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPgBXWZNXBb/
- Podcast: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPhGlZ6t_Z9/
- Films/Documentaries: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPghcIPtCYi/
- TEDxEastVan: Healing a Nation Through Truth and Reconciliation, Chief Dr. Robert Joseph
- Read The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
- Learn how close you live to a residential school: CBC residential school interactive map
- Learn what Indigenous territory, land and treaty you live on: Native Land
- Join Indigenous Canada, a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that explores Indigenous histories and key issues facing Indigenous peoples today.
- Check out the variety of learning resources on the Settlers Take Action page of the On Canada Project.
These are only a handful of organizations and resources that can be used to decolonize our ways of thinking, relearn the real Canadian history, learn how to support Indigenous communities, and participate in genuine reconciliation. There are many more ways to commit to reconciliation out there, and we encourage you to research and explore them! Feel free to share other resources in the comments below!