This Thursday, September 30 marks National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. All University of Alberta Library locations will be closed to mark this day.
On this solemn day, Canadians will reflect on our grievous past, particularly the incarceration and abuse of Indigenous children in Residential Schools. We encourage all members of the University of Alberta community to wear an Orange shirt and consider this past and how we can do better now and into the future. For settlers interested in becoming better aware of how we got here as a nation and embrace the tenets of truth and reconciliation, here are three ways to learn more.
Take the Indigenous Canada MOOC
You might might be familiar with the Indigenous Canada MOOC thanks to recent course alum, Schitt’s Creek creator and star, Dan Levy. If you’ve been thinking about it, there’s never been a better time. Anyone with an internet connection can sign up and take part in this free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), created and taught by instructors from UAlberta’s Faculty of Native Studies. The course provides an overview of Indigenous people’s history prior to this part of Turtle Island being colonised, during colonialism and how this history informs the experiences and challenges of Indigenous communities in the modern era.
Check out some of the resources on our Residential Schools Subject Guide
Residential schools are a disturbing topic, but it is important to understand what children who were victims of this system experienced to take the next steps towards truth and reconciliation. Our Residential School guide contains a variety of media that explores this dark past including films, books, articles and links to read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Full Report. Teachers looking for classroom resources for young learners will also find a number of resource recommendations. Those looking for resources younger audiences may also want to check out this list of books on residential schools for children and young adults.
Peruse some of the chapters in Indigenous Writes
If you’re short on time, or are looking for answer to certain questions regarding Indigenous people in Canada, Indigenous Writes, by Chelsea Vowel, provides readers with concise, easy to understand chapters that explore various misconceptions related to Canada’s Indigenous populations. Our online version of this book means that any UAlberta student and staff member can access this resource anywhere with an internet connection at anytime.
On Wednesday, September 29, UAlberta students and staff are encouraged to wear orange shirts to recognize the toll residential schools have taken on Indigenous populations. We look forward to seeing a sea of orange on that day.