Pretium Engineering recognizes the first Canadian National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
This September 30th, Pretium Engineering recognized the first Canadian National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
“Reconciliation” is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in this country.
In keeping with our commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Pretium Engineering staff commemorated this day by wearing orange to raise awareness of the very tragic legacy of residential schools, which more than 150,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit children were forced to attend between the 1870s and 1997, and to honour the thousands of Survivors, their families, and communities.
Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative event that honours the children who survived Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not. The orange shirt represents the experience of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem'c Xgat'tem First Nation, on her first day of school in 1973, where she arrived dressed in a new orange shirt given to her by her grandmother which was taken from her, along with her other personal items, and never returned. It is now a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
The idea of having a statutory holiday was one of the 94 recommendations, referred to as “Calls to Action”, in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report, which was released in June 2015. The day itself was officially created on June 3 this year, when Bill C-5 was passed by both houses of Parliament. The move came shortly after the remains of about 215 children were discovered in late May by the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. More remains have been found since then, and more searches are underway across the country. The original TRC report estimated that 6,000 children died while attending the schools, although many people expect the number to be much higher.
For more information please go to:
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report can be viewed and downloaded here:
Increasing our knowledge on Indigenous issues, and doing it in a way that is not culturally biased or inappropriate and where culture is not appropriated, will give us a better understanding of what it means when the Indigenous community talks about things from their perspective.