Friday, September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. Commemorating painful truths about the abuse and deaths of children in the Indian residential school system and the inter-generational trauma survivors and their descendants are experiencing is a vital part of the reconciliation process.

What actions will you take today and everyday to learn more about and honour the children who never came home and the survivors and their descendants?

The documentary Canada’s Dark Secret, survivors bring to light the horrifying stories about the methods used to sever indigenous children from their families. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission travelled around Canada for six years, gathering testimony from thousands who bore witness to the tragedies of the residential schools and issued 94 Calls to Action Canadians can take to advance reconciliation and healing.

Residential school survivor, Phyllis Webstad was just six-years old when the orange shirt which was given to her by her grandmother was taken away from her on her first day at a residential school in 1973. Wearing an orange shirt on September 30th reminds us of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations. Yet, real action goes beyond just wearing an orange shirt.

Health Standards Organization (HSO), is moving forward on our commitment and Declaration of Cultural Safety and Humility with taking concrete actions and will continue to do so. The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), partnered with HSO to work on making B.C’s health system safer, more accessible and better able to address Indigenous-specific racism. We are proud to say the  British Columbia (BC) Cultural Safety and Humility Standard is the first of its kind in Canada. When followed it helps to transform B.C.’s health system with knowledge of cultural safety and humility.

Move your organization forward by watching and sharing the FNHA and HSO webinar on the new standard. BC health organizations can contact us for a free copy of the standard and if your organization is enrolled with Accreditation Canada, the standard is available on the client organization portal.

A whole week of incredible interactive learning opportunities with indigenous educators kicks off online beginning September 26th through the 30th on the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website. You can find easy to download commemorative promotional resources on the website, and share how you will mark this day by using the hashtag #NDTR on social media. Because change starts with you!