Updated: Sep 28
“Truth is the foundation of reconciliation. Yet, for too long, the honest truth about the history of Canada’s residential schools was hidden and denied. Efforts to acknowledge this history only happened because of the tireless work of Survivors themselves.”– STEPHANIE SCOTT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30, 2023 is both the 10th annual Orange Shirt Day and the 3rd annual National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
Why we wear orange
Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community intergenerational impacts of residential schools and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”.
All people are encouraged to wear orange to honour the survivors of residential schools, to listen with open ears to the stories of survivors and their families, and to remember the thousands of children who were taken by this act of colonization. The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations and wearing an orange shirt reminds us of the impact of residential schools still felt today.
It is acknowledged that reconciliation requires much more than land acknowledgements and orange shirts, it requires a commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 Calls to Action and the collaborative development of a country where Indigenous communities are respected, amplified, supported and heard in a collective effort towards decolonization.
All Candians are encouraged to read the Calls to Action. Take up a lens of identifying where you, as an individual as well as you, as part of a community/business/workplace, have opportunities to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of reconciliation.
September 30th calls for public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools. Wolfville Farmers’ Market Cooperative, its board and staff, honour this important day. Staff will be participating in both local initiatives and offering public resources centered around Truth and Reconciliation, after which we will come together to discuss our experiences and learnings.
This year, September 30th is on a Saturday market day. In addition to our regular market offerings, we invite all to wear orange, appreciate the 9:15am opening address by Mi'kmaw leader Carolyn Landry, and enjoy live music by doublespeak (band including Tom O’Leary & Mitchell McFadgen) from 9:30-noon and Mika Francis, accompanied by Evan Syliboy at noon-12:20pm. All are invited to visit Carolyn’s market booth where she is sharing 7 Sacred Teachings and about Mi’kmaw culture.
About the crocheted hearts (by Annita)
These hearts were created in the wake of #215children unmarked graves discovered in Secwepemc territory. Watching social media at that time, there were many 🧡’s identifying unmarked graves as they were discovered, front line campaigns of land defenders and treaty fisheries, Every Child Matters and MMIWG2S+ movements and resources like the TRC Calls to Action. I embraced this digital learning journey.
Orange t-shirts were purchased from a local thrift store and cut into yarn.
I crocheted hearts as I listened to podcasts, watched youtube videos and IG live. I couldn’t believe what I didn’t know, both about the history and current/ongoing genocide in Canada. I recreated the 🧡 to bring the Calls to Action into my life and to provide an opportunity for my community to say, hey what are those… and then I could tell them. These hearts are artful reminders of what I am learning; that discrimination and colonialism is systematically and structurally baked right into Canada and as humans and citizens, we all have daily opportunities and responsibility to affect change for Indigenous peoples. Listen to the stories, Appreciate the resilience of Indigenous communities, and Engage in the Calls to Action.