Friday 30 September 2022

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

*Please note that this post is about the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and the legacy of Residential Schools in Canada. These topics may be triggers for some readers. I also want to clearly say that I am non-Indigenous, writing from the perspective of a Canadian, British-descended, heterosexual woman. Thank you for listening.

Today is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. On this day, we honour the children who perished in Residential Schools, as well as those who returned home and their communities. We also acknowledge the ongoing inter-generational trauma that is the sad legacy of these schools. 

I would like to acknowledge also that this legacy is not limited to the abuse that happened in the schools, but also includes the fact that we, as a Canadian society, removed children from their families and tried to erase the Indigenous languages and cultures from these children. It is right that we should revisit this uncomfortable truth again and again, as we pursue reconciliation alongside and under the leadership of Indigenous peoples.

It was my joy to work alongside and under the leadership of Indigenous colleagues for 5 years. I heard some first-hand accounts from Residential Schools and learned so much. The wisdom, resilience, generosity, and sense of humour of these fabulous people are seemingly without end, and I am humbled to be counted as a friend. I hope the future will include more work together.

I am grateful to now be learning an Indigenous language for the first time: Passamaquoddy, the language of the people of the region where I live, and where my family has lived for many generations. If you've watched one of my Facebook Lives, you may have noticed that I always begin with a land acknowledgement in which I thank the Passamaquoddy people for sharing their beautiful place with us. I hope that my (rather stumbling!) efforts to engage both their beautiful language and the lovely people I've met in the class will be yet another step along the reconciliation journey. 

Today's card is my attempt to honour this day and express my desire to continue in the ongoing journey of reconciliation with Indigenous friends - including those I have not yet met:

My card design was simple, to focus on the message and avoid any cultural appropriation by using Indigenous imagery. And so I expressed myself primarily through the colours often seen on Orange Shirt Day - which is also today, and when we wear orange shirts to honour Residential School children. 

As I do not feel it is appropriate to market the products used on this sombre and important day, I will not provide the usual links to my shop. If you need an item, please contact me and I'll be happy to help. 

However, in case you wish to make the card at home, here are the supplies I used: Pumpkin Pie and Basic Black Cardstocks, Gingham Cottage paper, Black & White 1/4" Gingham Ribbon, Painted Labels Dies, Stylish Shapes Dies, Peaceful Moments stamp set (sentiment), and Classic Matte Dots.

And I warmly invite you to follow my blog to see future cards:

Friends, I wish you a truly good National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. May we learn, mourn, and heal well together. 

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