OCA Reflects on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Submitted by Erin Morgan, Executive Director, OCA
This month we will observe a new day in the federal government calendar — the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It responds to Call to Action 80 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which calls “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.”
On this day at OCA, we will be spending the day reflecting on this tragic chapter of Canadian history. We stand in solidarity with the survivors and families affected by the Canadian residential school system. Our staff will also be participating in some of Guelph’s many different events to mark this important day including a film festival at our local independent theatre, a speaker series and reading our local Rotary club’s book selection, Towards Braiding, a book sponsored by the Musagetes Foundation.
By supporting Indigenous people, we strengthen our society overall. We look forward to a future when our provincial government will also mark this day of commemoration, learning and reflection. It is important to educate ourselves as allies and begin the work of reconciliation in Ontario.
The Ontario Co-operative Association is in Guelph, Ontario, situated on the ancestral homelands of the Anishinaabek Peoples, specifically the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Through Between the Lakes Purchase №3 Treaty (1792) the Mississaugas of the Credit ceded to the British Crown over 3 000 000 acres of land between Lakes Huron, Ontario and Erie.
OCA encourages all co-operatives to read and commit to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
Please also check out CHF Canada’s document Building Better Relationships: A reconciliation toolkit. It offers an explanation of what reconciliation is and why it is important, and outlines how the TRC guides us towards reconciliation (Principles of Reconciliation and Calls to Action).
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