Every Child Matters

September 30th, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

To: People we Support, Families, Guardians, and Skills Society Employees

RE: September 30th, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

From: Skills Society Senior Leadership

September 15, 2021

In June the federal government passed legislation to establish a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation that is observed as a federal statutory holiday on September 30th. This was in response to Call to Action 80 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which calls “upon the federal government, in collaboration with Indigenous 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.” (www.canada.ca). 

Skills Society is funded by the Government of Alberta (PDD), and at present is not funded to observe September 30th as a statutory holiday. The cost to offer one day as a statutory holiday is over $50,000 to Skills Society that we are not funded for. Due to these funding constraints and the fact that people we serve rely on our supports for day to day living, we are unfortunately unable to provide the statutory holiday to our employees. 

That said, at Skills Society we are committed to learning about reconciliation, residential schools, being better Treaty relatives, learning, listening and supporting. Below we are sharing ways we will be honoring September 30th National Truth and Reconciliation day and actions members of our community can take to act on reconciliation. Here are some actions Skills Society has or is currently taking: 

  • Board of Directors and leadership has already been learning about Indigenous peoples, treaty and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Supporting Indigenous people we serve to embrace their cultural roots, learn, and connect
  • Centering Indigenous knowledge in problem solving practices (Shift Lab)
  • We Co-Stewarded the Shift Lab which centers Indigenous leaders and knowledge in shaping anti-racism interventions for Edmonton
  • Working with Naheyawin to create messages and symbols in our Action Lab to remind we are all Treaty relatives and to act that way when in the Lab and beyond (In process currently)
  • Boosting and supporting Indigenous leaders within our organization and in community. – Involving in systems change initiatives such as our housing lab, and shift lab. 

Ways Skills Society will be commemorating September 30th

Remember that this day will be a tough day for Indigenous survivors and survivors of intergenerational trauma. Our Skills community is a kind, empathetic and safe space for all. Please be aware and respectful. 

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Event Hosted by Naheyawin

People we support, families, Guardians and Skills Society employees are invited to join us online via Zoom on September 30th at 3:30 pm to explore and deepen knowledge about the origin and purpose of Canada’s newest federal holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Hunter Cardinal will share the nehiyaw myth of the Stone People, the histories of our Truth and Reconciliation process, and explore the many ways Canadians are taking action towards renewing our relations. Guests joining this session will walk away with the stories, tools, and resources to continue their personal journey towards right relations. Please note that Hunter will lead a virtual smudge ceremony to begin the session which is optional, but all are welcome to attend. 

Please see additional details below on how to register to join. Please note this is an online event. To RSVP and join us online you must register ahead of time. 

Wear an Orange shirt

“The choice of September 30 builds on the grassroots momentum of Orange Shirt Day, which is already known as a day to remember the legacy of residential schools and move forward with reconciliation” (www.canada.ca). 

We encourage the people we support, families, Guardians, and employees to wear an orange shirt on September 30th. If purchasing a shirt for Orange Shirt Day, please ensure that you are purchasing a shirt from a group or organization that is affiliated with Indigenous people or that proceeds will be donated to organizations that support residential school survivors and help advance the ongoing process of reconciliation:

Other Actions Our Community Can Take

  • Make a donation to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (www.irsss.ca
  • Read the
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to ActionTake the University of Alberta Faculty of Native Studies free massive open online course that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada (www.ualberta.ca)
  • The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation will be hosting a series of free virtual events from September 27th to October 1st. For more information and to register click here.

Support Indigenous Businesses

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Event Hosted by Naheyawin

How to RSVP and Register to Receive the Zoom Link

Please note this is an online event. To RSVP and join us online you must register ahead of time. 

To register for the Zoom meeting please click the link below:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUudeCgpzsiGtyp6wcrMED2PkQiCJ0wBGge 

When you click the link you will be asked to enter your name and email. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

Joining on the Day of the Event

We recommend you join 5-10 minutes early to give you time to troubleshoot if something is not working well. For the best experience, ensure your web browser(Chrome, Firefox, Safari), computer and Zoom app are updated before the event. On the day of the event there will be three ways for you to join:

Join by Computer

To join by computer, follow the instructions provided in the email you received after registering. Joining by computer involves clicking a link and opening it in your web browser. *Please note – you may be prompted to download the Zoom application if you do not have it on your device. 

To join this way you will need:

  • Internet access
  • Webcam, microphone, and speaker on your computer

Join by Phone using the Zoom App

To join by phone using the Zoom App, follow the instructions provided in the email you received after registering. Joining by phone using the App involves clicking a link and opening it in the Zoom App on your device. *Please note – you may be prompted to download the Zoom application if you do not have it on your device. 

To join this way you will need:

  • Internet access
  • Camera, microphone, and speaker on your smartphone

Join by Phone by Calling In

To join by calling in, follow the instructions provided in the email you received after registering. Joining by phone involves calling a phone number and connecting. *Please note – you should only call a Canadian number, there may be numbers from other locations listed, please avoid using those as you may be charged long distance if you select a number other than a Canadian one.

To join this way you will need:

  • Cell phone or landline