Ways to Listen, Learn, and Grow as We Recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

9 minute read

Recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

As we seek to listen, learn and grow relationships with Indigenous neighbours, we appreciate the importance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30 as a day 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.”

Kindred’s observance of this day includes closing all of our locations and encouraging staff members and members alike to take some time to reflect. It creates space and time to consider the ways we can all participate in reconciliation. “The day is intended to be more than another holiday,” notes Ian Thomas, chief executive officer at Kindred. “It’s meant to create space and time to reflect on the ways we can all take action to participate in reconciliation.”

Last year, we introduced a video that explores Kindred’s Community Inspiration Framework and highlights our ten focus areas, which include Indigenous Justice and Reconciliation. Kindred is committed to learning, building partnerships, and mobilizing our resources to make tangible progress towards reconciliation.


Leading up to September 30, as we equip our staff with resources for this purpose, we will also share them with you and invite you to join us in this learning and reflection.

We plan to share additional resources in support of Indigenous Justice and Reconciliation here in the coming days, so please check back as we add more opportunities to learn, listen and act.


Calls to Action 

Have you read the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada? Read the Calls here.

  • Consider choosing one or two Calls to Action that you could integrate into your life or work. What’s your plan? How will you hold yourself accountable?
  • Consider an activity with your family using this youth-friendly version of the Calls to Action from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada. 

Whose Land?

What do you know about the land you live and work on? Whose Land is a web-based app that supports learning about Indigenous Nations, territories, treaties and communities across Canada.

More Opportunities to Learn 

There are numerous websites and resources available as starting places for those seeking to learn more regarding Indigenous Nations, our shared history, and what Calls to Action are available to bring awareness to several important issues.

  • 94 Calls to Action — This PDF document looks to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission makes several calls to action.
  • Final report by national Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls – The Final Report is comprised of the truths of more than 2,380 family members, survivors of violence, experts and Knowledge Keepers shared over two years of cross-country public hearings and evidence demonstrating persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people. It delivers 231 individual Calls for Justice directed at governments, institutions, social service providers, industries and all Canadians.
  • 231 Calls for Justice – An in-depth PDF that demonstrates human rights and Indigenous rights abuses and violations committed and condoned by the Canadian state represent genocide against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people. It outlines several steps with commitments to make change.
  • First Nations Child & Family Caring Society – The Caring Society stands with First Nations children, youth and families so they have equitable opportunities to grow up safely at home, be healthy, get a good education and be proud of who they are.
  • Legacy of Hope Foundation – the Legacy of Hope Foundation is a national Indigenous charitable organization with the mandate to educate and create awareness and understanding about the Residential School System, including the intergenerational impacts such as the removal of generations of Indigenous children from their families, including the Sixties Scoop, the post-traumatic stress disorders that many First Nations, Inuit, and Metis continue to experience, all while trying to address racism, foster empathy and understanding and inspire action to improve the situation of Indigenous Peoples today.


Undercurrents Podcast

Our partner, Mennonite Central Committee of Ontario (MCCO), is experimenting with podcasts as a new way of sharing the stories they’re privileged to hear through their work. Listen to two Undercurrents episodes that connect with MCCO’s Indigenous Neighbours Program.. 

Save the Evidence – Season 1, Episode 6

  • This episode shares stories from a residential school survivor; learns from Indigenous partners who are working to reclaim their culture; and listens to settlers wrestle with their evolving relationship with Canada.
  • Consider the following questions to guide your reflection on this episode.
    • What does ‘Canadian identity’ mean to you?
    • Why is it important to ‘Save the Evidence’?
    • How will you apply what you’ve learned on the journey towards reconciliation? 

Merle’s Story – Season 1, Episode 7 

  • This is the story of one man, who used to work at a residential school, and how he has spent the rest of his life trying to hold himself accountable, and what accountability can mean for others.
  • Consider the following questions to guide your reflection on this episode.
    • Merle opens by saying, “This is a story, this is my story”. Think about your story. What is your relationship to the land you call home?
    • What should accountability look like for government and church involvement in residential schools?
    • What could ‘ethical space’ look like in your life?

Honouring treaties with peacebuilding

Listen to the MCC Canada podcast, Honouring treaties with peacebuilding with Adrian Jacobs, Ganosono of the Turtle Clan, Cayuga Nation of the Six Nations Haudenosaunee Confederacy.

Unreserved – Indigenous Voices

Unreserved is the radio space for Indigenous voices – our cousins, our aunties, our elders, our heroes. Rosanna Deerchild guides us on the path to better understand our shared story. Together, we learn and unlearn, laugh and become gentler in all our relations.

Unreserved with Rosanna Deerchild | Live Radio | CBC Listen


The University of Waterloo 

The University of Waterloo’s Office of Indigenous Relations has several events occurring throughout September with a specific emphasis on raising awareness, and to honour, the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.

Visit the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation UWaterloo website for more information on these events and more!

Mohawk Institute Residential School Virtual Tour

Follow guide, Lorrie Gallant, as she gives a tour of the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School, offered by the University of Waterloo. During the video Lorrie provides the history of the institution over its 140-year history. Viewers will get to see the different rooms in the school, from the girls’ and boys’ dormitories, the cafeteria, laundry room, and other rooms throughout the building, as well as hear interviews from five Survivors of the Mohawk Institute. 

Learn more and register for the Mohawk Institute Residential School Virtual Tour taking place on September 14 from 12:30-2:30 pm.

Orange Shirt Day 

For many years, one of the tools for building awareness of the harms done through the residential school system has been to wear an orange shirt. Held annually since 2013, September 30 marks Orange Shirt Day, a day to learn about, remember, and honour Indigenous children who were taken from their families and sent to residential schools across Canada. Learn more and buy your own orange shirt.

Gathering & Vigil at Woodland Cultural Centre

Qualia Counselling Services is holding a Gathering and Vigil to prepare for National Truth and Reconciliation Day on Sept 28th from 6pm-7pm at Woodland Cultural Centre.

Join with us to honour our ancestors, lost children, survivors and intergenerational survivors. More information and tickets can be found at: https://www.facswaterloo.org/familycentre/programs-and-activities/september-28-gathering-and-vigil-prepare-for-the-national-day-of-truth-reconciliation

Indigenous Beadwork Workshop with Naomi Smith

To commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, join us for an Indigenous Beadwork workshop on September 30, 2022 at the Guelph Civic Museum, led by the incredible Naomi Smith of Black Tulip Designs.

You can learn more about the event by visiting: https://guelphmuseums.ca/event/indigenous-beadwork-workshop-with-naomi-smith/

MCC and Restorative Justice Events

Training Active Bystanders for the International Day of Peace | 7 PM on Sept 21

  • Active Bystander Training allows participants to see themselves as potential Active Bystanders who can intervene when they witness abusive, isolating or stigmatizing behaviour. The training teaches them about pro-social behaviour and encourages them to consider taking action in the future. Register today at mcco.ca/events.

Sitting with the Truth | Sept 21 and Sept 29 in the MCC atrium, 50 Kent Ave, Kitchener

  • The Sitting with the Truth display is a journey of pain, resilience and apology. Along the way, you will hear stories from survivors and staff of Mennonite-run residential schools. This self-directed learning opportunity includes a facilitator who will be available to answer questions and help guests move through the display. More info at mcco.ca/sitting-with-the-truth.

Ian Thomas

Chief Executive Officer
Ian is a values-led, people-centric leader with a proven track record developing strategy, empowering teams, and establishing lasting connections with strategic and community partners.

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