Truth and Reconciliation
On July 1st 2021, Town Hall will be closed as usual in observance of the statutory holiday. There will be no celebration happening in the Town of Kentville this year because we, as an organization, believe that this is not a time for celebration. We are instead encouraging our residents, businesses, and social media audiences to reflect on our collective history in the context of lives of Indigenous people lost while in the care of residential schools across Canada. We encourage you to consider the damages done by these schools, how this system has shaped our provinces and country, and the consequences that people are still living with as a result.
To encourage residents to learn about the history of the residential school system in Canada. If you want to do something, but don’t know what to do or how to start, we have included the following calls to action:
1. Hear the stories of survivors and their families. Watch We Were Children. Read Out of the Depths by Isabelle Knockwood, and other memoirs by survivors.
2. Lift up the voices of Indigenous people especially survivors.
3. Host and Orange Shirt Day at your school or workplace to commemorate survivors and those lost at residential schools.
4. Support Indigenous artists, drummers, singers, dancers, language learners and small business owners. They are all helping communities heal.
5. Donate to organizations that support counselling and other supports for survivors and their families, and provide education about the legacy of residential schools, such as: National Indian Residential School Crisis Line; Legacy of Hope Foundation; Orange Shirt Society.
6. Give room for Indigenous community members to mourn. While the news isn't surprising, communities are grieving for all the children they have lost and are sharing the grief of the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation.
7. Call on your local senators to pass Bill C-5 "A National Day for Truth and Reconciliation" and call on your local provincial government to designate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a general holiday under the Labour Act.
8. Visit Indigenous cultural heritage sites to learn about the traditions, culture and resilience of your local communities.
9. Re-read the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and think about how you can implement the Calls to Action in your own life.
10. Learn about the communities on whose land you live.
11. Register for the University of British Columbia's open online course in Indigenous Studies for Reconciliation for free.