Parent resources for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is on Sept. 30. This day is meant to create awareness of residential schools and their impact on survivors and families, and spark meaningful discussion about reconciliation.
At BGC Okanagan, we firmly believe in celebrating diversity and are committed to actively participating in acts of reconciliation. As parents, it’s essential to carry forward these conversations with children, to build happy, healthy, thriving communities where everyone belongs. This guide aims to provide you with resources and practical tips to help you engage your children in meaningful discussions.
1: Start with Age-Appropriate Resources:
- Books: Introduce age-appropriate books that cover Indigenous history, culture, and experiences. Some recommendations include “Phyllis’s Orange Shirt”, “With Our Orange Hearts” (for young children) and “The Orange Shirt Story” (for older kids) all written by Phyllis Webstad.
- Visit Theytus Books online, which is a leading North American publisher of Indigenous voices. Located in Syilx territory on the Penticton Indian Reserve in British Columbia, Theytus Books is proudly First Nations-owned and operated in partnership with the En’owkin Centre. Theytus Books has been a leading proponent for Indigenous authors, illustrators and artists. It ensures that their voice and vision are expressed with the highest level of cultural authenticity and integrity.
2: Engage in Creative Activities:
- Write feathers to the Prime Minister speaking up for the rights of Indigenous people in Canada – feather template can be downloaded by clicking here. Postage to the Prime Minister is free! Office of the Prime Minister 80 Wellington Street Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
- We also have two Syilx colouring sheets that your can download here and here.
3: Encourage Curiosity and Questions:
- Foster an environment where your children feel comfortable asking questions about Indigenous history and reconciliation. Be open, honest, and age-appropriate in your responses.
4: Explore Online Educational Resources:
- We found a variety of videos from CBC Kids News on YouTube that might help spark discussion with you and your children like this one: What is Reconciliation?
- Visit Syilx Language House to learn about the work being done to revitalize the N̓syilxčn̓ language, an Interior Salish language that is critically endangered. There is also great resources such as Elder recordings, world-class language curriculums and opportunities to learn things like how to say hello, thank you and other words that are important for everyone to know in the N̓syilxčn̓ language.
5: Attend Community Events:
- Participate in local events that celebrate Indigenous culture and promote understanding. This can include powwows, storytelling sessions, and cultural festivals.
- Here are some events happening in our area on Sept. 30 – Okanagan Nation Alliance Walk for The Children (in Penticton), free tour of the Sncewips Heritage Museum (in Kelowna), Museum and Archives of Vernon listen and learn opportunity, Okanagan Heritage Museum – (Un)learn with Kelowna Museums, Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society event, and the special showing of Bones and Crows in Penticton at the Cleland Theatre (please note this film is Not Rated by the MPAA, we encourage you to research about it before watching).
By taking these steps, you are not only providing your children with essential knowledge about Indigenous history and reconciliation but also instilling in them a sense of empathy, understanding, and a commitment to a more inclusive future. Together, we can contribute to acts of reconciliation within our families, schools, and communities. Remember, every conversation brings us one step closer to a more united and compassionate society.