Written by Nick Patch
Monday, September 27th, 2021
On September 30th, Canadians will observe the new National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day to remember, recognize and reflect on the tragic legacy of the residential school system and the harm it inflicted on Indigenous families and communities across the country.
The new federal statutory holiday is meant to ensure that the experiences of residential school survivors and their families remain a core component of the reconciliation process.
Orange Shirt Day and a Call to Action
September 30th is also Orange Shirt Day, a day when Canadians are encouraged to wear orange to remember the approximately 150,000 Métis, Inuit and First Nations children who were removed from their families and sent to residential schools between the 1860s and 1990s.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was formed as a result of a class action lawsuit by residential school survivors to document and uncover the truth of Canada's history regarding Indigenous people and residential schools.
There were 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a call to action 80 from the Truth and Reconciliation commission:
80. We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.
Raising Awareness and Getting Involved
Tangerine has continued initiatives intended to support the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT), the city's oldest Indigenous community organization and a key meeting place for people of "the Indigenous community and visitors alike" since 1962.
"Charitable giving means far more to us than just donating money. We believe it's also important to give our time and energy. In everything we do, accountability is key, and our charitable projects are geared to put accountability first, to ensure we're making a real difference in the community," explained Pam Fabisiak, Community Manager at Tangerine.
"We roll up our sleeves and pitch in. This allows us to personally meet our community partners who are at the receiving end of our efforts – to speak to them, learn about their needs, and get involved first-hand. Each year, our employees actively volunteer with many of the charities we support at the corporate level. We call it 'Tangerine in the Community.'"
Walking the Walk to Make a Difference
In celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day in June, Tangerine donated 100 women's wellness kits (which included toothpaste, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, feminine products, soap and lip balm) and 100 youth activity kits, which came complete with an activity book, pencil crayons, skipping rope, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, a stress ball and more.
Tangerine also donated 100 back-to-school kits for youth, while providing four weeks of brown bagged lunches in September.
Interested in making a difference? Visit Reconciliation Canada to see how you can give back by volunteering, donating or participating in partnership opportunities.
For more information, you can also visit National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.