Today is a Day to Reflect on Meaningful and Lasting Reconciliation; it marks the first Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Saskatchewan. It is a day to honour the lost children, survivors and those affected by Canada’s residential school system.
All residents, including public employees and students are encouraged to wear orange to further generate discussion and raise awareness on the history of the residential school system in Canada.
Residential schools operated in Canada, including Saskatchewan, for more than a century. The federal government reports that 150,000 Indigenous children were removed and separated from their families and communities to attend these schools. While most of the 140 Residential Schools closed by the mid-1970s, the last federally-run school closed in the late 1990s.
The Day for Truth and Reconciliation was created in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action #80, which called on the Federal Government to create a statutory holiday. While this call was not directed at the province, Saskatchewan proceeded with this proclamation in the spirit of reconciliation.
For anyone who may need assistance:
Former Residential School students can call 1-866-925-4419 for emotional crisis referral services and information on other health supports from the Government of Canada.
Indigenous Peoples across Canada can also go to the Hope for Wellness Help Link, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for counselling and crisis intervention. Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free) or the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.