Williams Lake, BC: The Tŝilhqot’in Ts’iqi Dechen Jedilhtan (Tŝilhqot’in Women’s Council) is commemorating National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and encouraging everyone to reflect on the harmful and traumatic history and legacy of the Residential School system.
In June of 2021, September 30th was declared a federal holiday with the passage of Bill C-5 in response to the discovery of unmarked children’s graves found at former Residential School sites earlier that year. Further, the declaration addressed one of the calls-to-action outlined in the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations. September 30th is also known as “Orange Shirt Day” in recognition of the Residential School experience of matriarch Phyllis Webstad.
The Tŝilhqot’in Ts’iqi Dechen Jedilhtan encourages everyone to take part in the ceremonies being held this weekend to honour the Survivors, the communities, families of Residential School Survivors and pay tribute to the children who never returned home.
Rebecca Solomon, Tŝilhqot’in Ts’iqi Dechen Jedilhtan
“It is essential that Canada acknowledge the harm that Residential Schools did to Indigenous Peoples. While the declaration of the of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was a start in creating awareness, more needs to be done. In the past two years, the count of unmarked graves at these Residential School sites has increased and now surpasses 10,000. The government needs to remain vigilant and continue to work with Indigenous Peoples and communities to implement the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report. The government needs to assist with the advancement of true reconciliation. We need to heal from the harms of Residential Schools that have created intergenerational impacts for all. We recognize many relatives are hurting in silence today.
Let’s continue to work together to address the trauma, mental health, and addictions crisis to create a better future for the next generations. Regardless of culture and religion, we need to reawaken harmony with our neighbours and Mother Earth for the benefit of all our relations, past, present and future.”
Tŝilhqot’in National Government