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Algoma University Honours National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

BRAMPTON/SAULT STE. MARIE/TIMMINS- September 12, 2022): September 30th is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It is marked each year with the Orange Shirt representing the experience of Phyllis Webstad who was forcibly placed in an Indian Residential School as a child. The orange shirt represents the shirt her mother gave her to wear on her first day, only for it to be taken away from her. Phyllis describes her experience as though no one cared about her or her feelings, as though she did not matter.  More than 150,000 First Nation, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their homes and put into residential schools as a matter of government policy. The policy aimed to remove the child from their homes, culture, language and spirituality. 

At Algoma University, we honour this day by wearing our orange shirts. This important initiative aims to spread awareness of the individual, family and community intergenerational impacts of the Indian Residential School system and reinforce the #EveryChildMatters movement. 

Given the history of the Shingwauk site that serves as home to our Sault Ste. Mare campus and the impact of the history of residential schools across Canada, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Planning Committee (Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC), Anishinaabe Academic Resource Centre (AARC), Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (SKG), the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association (CSAA), Shingwauk Anishinaabe Students’ Association (SASA) and Algoma University Students’ Union (AUSU)) are partnering to host a number of very special activities across our campuses to honour this significant day. 

Please join us for a number of in-person and virtual events that organizations, their employees and the general public are welcome to participate in. Although classes will be cancelled, educational activities will take place that allow students to join either in-person or virtually, ensuring time is taken on this day to provide an opportunity for all members of our community to engage in learning, reflection and action. 

The day will consist of Shingwauk Site tours, a Keynote address by George Diamond, a special Ontario Heritage Trust Plaque Unveiling, partner events and more. Full agendas are linked below, including details on how to join in-person and virtual events.

Don’t miss out on Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig’s Grand Opening, and full agenda of events. 

The presentations, discussions and subject matter can be triggering to many, so please take a moment to review student and staff supports that have been shared internally. 

“What happened is the truth. It is the truth. And only when you tell the truth can there be reconciliation. You can’t reconcile with someone who lies to you, and that is why we work so hard to tell our stories and to keep them alive […] I know that we are going in the right direction, and that Creator is guiding us, absolutely, and that we are all needed; everybody is a part of this journey. Together, we make new commitments to the future and this will move us forward.”

 – Survivor, Elder and Past-Chancellor Shirley Horn

#NDTR #everychildmatters #orangeshirtday #wewearorange

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