In observance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30th is a statutory holiday at ThoughtFarmer. This date coincides with Orange Shirt Day, commemorating Indigenous children who were forced to leave their families to attend residential schools.
We’re encouraging our staff and community members to make the most of this day. It’s an opportunity to learn, attend an event, and support local Indigenous businesses.
Ways to learn, understand, and participate
Take some time to read or listen
- Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action Report
- Read our article on understanding society’s role in reconciliation
- Read a book about Indigenous history or by an Indigenous author. There are many fantastic books, here are just a few we recommend.
- 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, by Bob Joseph
- From the Ashes, by Jesse Thistle
- Our Story, by various authors
- A Mind Spread Out on the Ground, Alicia Elliott
- This extensive list offers more recommendations
- Listen to The road to reconciliation on CBC’s The Sunday Magazine with Piya Chattopadhyay.
- Listen to The Truth Sharing Podcasts. A project inspired by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, that gives life to the truth and creates a living legacy of commemoration.
Enroll in an educational course
- The Indigenous Relations Society offers a self-guided Reconciliation Primer self-guided online course.
- The University of British Columbia (UBC) is offering Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education, a 6-Week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).
- The University of Alberta has a free online and self-guided 12-week Indigenous Canada course.
Use inclusive practices in your work
- Download the On-screen Protocols & Pathways: A Media Production Guide to Working with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Communities, Cultures, Concepts and Stories from imagineNATIVE.
- Read and implement Elements Of Indigenous Style: A Guide For Writing By And About Indigenous Peoples, by Greory Younging.
Participate in an event
- There are several virtual events planned for Truth and Reconciliation Week. The events are open to all Canadian schools and the general public. You can register through the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website.
- Intergenerational March to commemorate Orange Shirt Day. Members of the University of British Columbia (UBC) STEM community, families and those in solidarity are welcome to participate.
- Listen in on The Inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation discussion. Notable speakers will explore what this day means for reconciliation in Canada.
Wear an orange shirt
Wearing an orange shirt shows solidarity, honouring and remembering residential school survivors and those who did not survive. It’s a visual reminder that we still have much work to do towards reconciliation. Learn more about Orange Shirt Day and Phyllis Webstad by watching this short video.
Purchase an Every Child Matters shirt from the following retailers:
- The Orange Shirt Society has a list of retailers selling shirts and donating proceeds to their organization
- Skwachàys Lodge Aboriginal Hotel & Gallery
- MAKE is selling shirts designed by Indigenous artist KC Hall and donating 100% of profits to Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA)
- Daniel Puglas’ wolf design shirt is available at Strong Nations
Donate or volunteer your time
Legacy of Hope Foundation
The Legacy of Hope Foundation is an Indigenous-led, charitable organization that has been supporting healing and reconciliation across Canada for over 19 years.
“Our goal is to educate and raise awareness about the history and existing intergenerational impacts of the Residential School System (RSS) and subsequent Sixties Scoop (SS) on Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) Survivors, their descendants, and their communities to promote healing and Reconciliation.”
–Legacy of Hope Foundation
You can support them by donating or learning more about the Letters to Survivors program.
Kílala Lelum (Urban Indigenous Health and Healing Cooperative) pairs Indigenous Elders in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside community with allied health care professionals offering them the quality physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual care they may need. Learn how you can work with them, or donate towards their essential program needs.
Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA)
The Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA) has been providing opportunities to Indigenous youth since 1988. Their many support services include: education, housing, health and wellness, and community. You can find out more about volunteering for their Mentorship or Kinnections programs or donate.
Support is available
Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line
If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing distress, pain, or anxiety as a result of their Residential school experience, please call the toll-free 24 hours a day, seven days a week Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line at 1 (800) 721-0066.
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society
The Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society (VAFCS) has been providing programs and services to the Vancouver community for over 50 years. Their mission is to:
"To provide practical tools for accomplishing our visionary ends through socio economic programs and services that empowers self reliance; responsibility; success and prosperity, for all urban Aboriginal individuals, family and community."
VAFCS helps Aboriginal People making a transition to the urban community. Their support programs include health and welfare, social services, human rights, culture, education, and recreation, while promoting equality. If you need any assistance or to find out more about any of their services, you can visit their contact us page, or call (604) 251-4844.
We’re making a pledge to move towards reconciliation. Learn more about the initiatives we’re taking to support an inclusive workplace.
Have questions? Get in touch! We're always happy to hear from you.