Recognizing Painful History and Way Forward

By Ashling Murphy, Toronto Police Service Published: 10:59 a.m. September 30, 2021

The Service has created a short video recognizing the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation, encouraging our members and our community to reflect on the impact of residential schools on generations of Indigenous peoples.

An image of the Aboriginal peacekeeping logo in orange
The National Day Truth & Reconciliation is a chance to reflect on the history of residential schools

In June, the federal government declared September 30th the first “National Day for Truth and Reconciliation,” a day to honour the healing journey of residential school survivors and their families.  It gives Canadians an opportunity to recognize and absorb the true legacy left by residential schools.

Orange Shirt day was first officially recognized on September 30th, 2013. The history stems back to 1973 when a young girl named Phyllis Jack Webstad attended the St. Joseph Mission Residential School in British Columbia.  

“Just know that every Indigenous person is carrying the memory and pain that was inflicted on the children that lived through this dark history,” said Frances Sanderson, Co-Chair on the Aboriginal Consultative Committee and Manager of Nishnawbe Homes, noting Sept. 30 is also a day to look forward. “A day to ask that we all find ways to look to the future, with truth, honesty, caring, sharing and respect for all people who call Turtle Island, Canada, home.”

National Day For Truth & Reconciliation

Superintendents Stacy Clarke and Rob Johnson, as well as Aboriginal Liaison Officer Constable Monica Rutledge lent their voice to the message.

“We all need to find ways to position the inclusion of Indigenous voices first if true reconciliation is to be achieved. The first step is understanding the history,” said Superintendent Johnson, who co-chairs the Aboriginal Consultative Committee. “I urge you to read the Truth and Reconciliation report and its calls to action, which can be found online."

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