The new statutory holiday, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, falls on September 30. And it was created after decades of mistreatment of Indigenous peoples by the Canadian state. And the recent discovery of mass graves near former residential schools. The goal of residential schools was to assimilate Indigenous children, rid them of their Indigenous identities often using abusive techniques including physical violence and sexual abuse. The children were kept in harsh conditions that allowed the spread of diseases. Residential schools ran from 1831 to 1996.
We acknowledge that our factory, located at 6575 Kestrell Road in Mississauga, is in the traditional territory of Anishinaabe people. According to the oral histories, Anishinaabe originated on northeast coast and migrated to the west, establishing their communities around the Great Lakes (now Canada and United States). Anishinaabe is used to describe oneself or a collective group of First Nations that include for example Mississaugas, Alqonquin and Ojibwe. The language of Anishinaabe is Anishinaabemowin and is spoken mainly in areas from Manitoba to Quebec.
Anisnaabe Thunderbird, designed by painter Grand Chief Ben Wawia
How can I help and contribute to reconciliation?
It begins by acknowledging the truth and bridging the gaps by learning about one another. Today, on September 30, you can express your solidarity by participating in an “Orange shirt day”. You can purchase your orange shirt from the official vendor London Drugs. Below is a list of interesting resources about Indigenous communities.
Ontario First Nations map: Ontario First Nations Maps | ontario.ca
Indigenous languages: Indigenous Languages in Canada | The Canadian Encyclopedia
First Nations in Canada: First Nations in Canada (rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca)
Spotify playlist “Indigenous Canada”: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6yv9X06nfGFZ8QFRsCyIzV?si=5042c15ba4a844db
Inspiring children’s books from Indigenous writers: 14 inspiring children’s books from Indigenous writers | CBC Books