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Grand River

Living into Right Relations (LIRR)

This monthly bulletin offers a listing of events, actions and resources for people interested in right relations and supporting Indigenous initiatives.

It is curated by Nancy Dykstra, a first generation Canadian of Dutch descent and a member of Parkminster United Church in Waterloo. Nancy was inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Report of 2015 to become active in working toward right relations.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Thursday, September 30

Establishing this statutory holiday was Call to Action # 80 of the TRC:

We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

It is up to us to figure out how we can honour the intent of the Call to Action. There have been many ideas put forward since the September email was sent so I felt it was worth putting this together to help us create a meaningful commemoration. I encourage each of us to commit to some-thing. Here are some ideas and events you might consider: 

  • Read or re-read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action and find one that speaks to a passion, desire or curiosity of yours. Commit to helping to make this happen. 
  • Find out more about Orange Shirt Day, and Phyllis Jack Webstad:
    • CBC interview, follow this link
    • Phyllis Jack Webstad’s work and advocacy, click here.
    • to purchase a copy of the book, Phyllis’s Orange Shirt, click here 
    • to purchase an orange shirt from Healing of the 7 Generations, click here.
  • Read and learn from a book related to Residential SchoolsDebbie Siertsema has provided an extensive list – attached. If you’d like to read with a group, let us know. We can likely hook you up with others.
  • Visit the Woodland Cultural Centre with a friend or two. WCC serves to preserve and promote Indigenous history, art, language and culture. “We welcome you to visit and learn with us as we bring the story of the Haudenosaunee people of the Eastern Woodlands to life through innovative exhibitions and programs.”

Consider donating to its Save the Evidence Campaign

  • Litany (Mennonite) below

A short and incomplete Calendar of Events:

Description: The programming will feature short videos created by Indigenous storytellers, followed by conversations with Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Survivors, and the children of Survivors of residential schools. The videos will be supported with classroom activities for students. Throughout the week we’ll share artistic and cultural performances by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists. There will also be a tribute to the Missing Children that never returned home from the residential schools.

  • Sept  29, 5:30 – 7 p.m.  Indigenous Children Then, Now and Tomorrow presented by United in Learning.  Panelists will explore how Indigenous children and families were and continue to be impacted by colonialism. They will answer a series of questions posed by moderator Springwater Hester-Meawassige, which will touch on a range of topics including Indigenous Children in Residential Schools, Sixties Scoop, Millennial Scoop, and bringing our children home. Register here.
  • Sept 29, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Shining Light on the Residential School Legacy presented by Toronto Urban Native Ministry (TUNM) Click here for  tickets ($10) which will support the Woodland Cultural Centre’s Save The Evidence Campaign and TUNM.

Description: Join us for an evening with Sandra Campbell-Kanien’kehā:ka Wahta, Wakkwā:ho for an informational discussion on the legacy of Indian Residential Schools, Indian Day Schools, Indian Hospitals, the 60’s Scoop, Millennial Scoop, Foster Care, Prisons, Jails and Mental Health Institutions.

September 30  


Other events locally not specific to Sept 30:

Books on Residential Schools    
Shi-shi-eiko and Shin-Chi’s Canoe Nicola Campbell Ages 4-8
Artic Stories Michael Kusugak Ages 4-8
Kookum’s Red Shoe Peter Eyvindson Ages 4-8
My Name is Seepeetza Shirley Sterling Ages 9-12
Fatty Legs Christy Jordon Fenton & Margaret Paklak-Fenton Ages 9-12
A stranger at Home Christy Jordan-Fenton Ages 9-12
No Time to Say Good bye: Chirldren’s Stories of Kuper Island Residential School Sylvia Olsen Ages 9-12
We feel Good our here=Zhik gwaa’an, nakhwatthaiitat, qwiinzii (The Land is our Storybook) Julie-Anne Andre & Mindy Willett Ages 9-12
As Long as the Rivers Flow Larry Lovie Ages 9-12
Indian Horse Richard Wagamese  
Orange Shirt Day Phyllis Wetstad  
Seven Fallen Feathers  Tanya Talaga  
Dear Canada, These are my words: The Residential School Diary of Violet |Pesheens Ruby Slipperjack  
In Search of April Raintree Beatrise Mosionier  
The Train  Jodie Callaghan  
I am not a Number Jenny Kay Dupuis  
When we were Alone David A. Robertson & Julie Flett  
The Break Katherena Vermette  
Porcupines and China Dolls Robert Arthur Alexie  
The Marrow Thieves Cherie Dimoline  
When I was Eight Cherie Jordan Fenton  
Not my Girl  Cherie Jordan Fenton  
Stolen words Melanie Florence  
Phyllis’ Orange Shirt Day Phyllis Webstad  
The Land is ours storybook Julie-Anne Andre & Mindy Willett  
When we play our Drums, They Sing!  Lucy & Lola -Richard Van Camp & Monique Gray Smith  
Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story David A. Robertson  
Five Little Indians Michelle Good  
One Story, One Song Richard Wagamese  
The Red Files Lisa Bird-Wilson  
The Education of Augie Merasty Joseph Auguste Merasty, & David Carpenter  
Speaking our Truth Monique Gray Smith  
They Called me Number One Bev Sellers  
I lost my Talk Rita Joe  
Moon of the Crusted Snow Waubgeshing Rice  
I’m Finding my talk  Rebecca Thomas  
Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to make Reconcilation a Reality Bob Joseph  
21 Things you may not Know about The Indian Act Bob Joseph  
Embers: Meditations  Richard Wagamese  
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdome Robin Wall Kimmer  
Shi-shi-eiko and Shin-Chi’s Canoe    
The Truth about Stories (CBC Massey Lectures) Thomas King  
The Other Side of the River (From Church Pew to Sweat Lodge) Alf Dumont  
Medicine Walk Richard Wagamese  
Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools Theodore Fontaine  
Norway House: Recollections, Adventures, Insights Janet Holland  

litanyPDF Version: Litany for National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

Posted with permission from author Ron Flaming.

These resources have been curated by Nancy Dykstra with many thanks.

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