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The following resources have been compiled to help gain a better understanding of what Truth and Reconciliation means in a Canadian context. This includes information on the history of Indigenous people as well as a deeper grasp of issues that have affected Indigenous communities since colonization began. There are also many opportunities below that aim to help guide us in finding our own path forward with reconciliation.

We encourage everyone to seek out more information and learning as we reflect on our own responsibilities toward reconciliation both personally and professionally in the institutions and communities we are a part of.

The resources on this page are not meant to be comprehensive, so if you have suggestions for articles, podcasts, webinars, events, etc., we invite you to contact our office.


Content Advisory & Support

Many of the resources below include mention and discussion around residential schools, and other potentially sensitive and traumatic subject matters. Please take care and consider your capacity for engaging in this information as we have not been able to provide warnings for each offering.  

If you are in need of support services, please see the following: 


If you have questions after reviewing the below resources, we welcome you to submit your questions hereSubmissions are anonymous (unless your provide your information) and will help snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College to guide conversations, compile additional resources, and plan workshops and event opportunities for our community to learn more in the future. 


Suggested Resources & Events

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Each year, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The day honours the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.

This federal statutory holiday was created through legislative amendments made by Parliament.

  • Learn about the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and how it should be observed.
  • Discover ways to participate in the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
  • Take a look at some small, everyday acts as well as some more provocative ones that Canadians can undertake, all of which encourage people to think about Indigenous-settler relationships in new ways.
  • Read this article outlining 10 simple actions you can take to learn more about reconciliation.

Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981) Commemoration Project and Reunion events that took place in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in May 2013. This project was the vision of Esketemc (Alkali Lake) Chief Fred Robbins, who is a former student himself. It brought together former students and their families from the Secwepemc, Tsilhqot’in, Southern Dakelh and St’at’imc Nations along with the Cariboo Regional District, the Mayors and municipalities, School Districts and civic organizations in the Cariboo Region.

The events were designed to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Chief Justice Murray Sinclair challenged all of the participants to keep the reconciliation process alive, as a result of the realization that every former student had similar stories.

  • Watch Recognizing Orange Shirt Day: A path to healing and reconciliation to hear from Elder-in-Residence and Residential School Survivor, Nk'xetko as she speaks about the impact of residential schools and sings The Crane Song, as well as from Musqueam Community Elder and Residential School Survivor, Meyaltxn who reads Imagine.
  • Show your support by wearing an Orange Shirt. Don't yet have a shirt? Do Your Research: Before you purchase an Orange Shirt, please take care to ensure you’re buying from Indigenous-owned businesses. See Support section below for more local organizations that may have this offering.

 Additional events and resources can be found below.

Engage Check out these local and national events.

Sep 21 – Webinar: Reconciling Identity: A discussion about Two-Spirit people within the LGBTQ2+ communities

  • We are living in a time of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada and many other colonized lands. But what about Indigenous peoples who identify as being part of the LGBTQ+? In this session, we will discuss what the “2” in LGBTQ2+ stands for and engage in discussion with a panel of Indigenous Two-Spirit people who will share their experiences with indigeneity in the LGBTQ2+ communities. Register here.

Sep 26-29 – snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College Events

Sep 28 – Reconciliation Workshop with Charlene Seward

  • Come to the Sharing Farm to have an open dialogue about reconciliation. The discussions will be lead by Charlene Seward, who is a member of the Squamish Nation and among other positions is the Indigenous Foodways Community Outreach Facilitator at KPU. She is known for creating a safe space for dialogue and learning about reconciliation. Register here.

Sep 28–Oct 16 – Frozen River (nîkwatin sîpiy)

  • Carousel Theatre for Young People (“CYTP”) opens its 2022/23 season with the West Coast premiere of Manitoba Theatre for Young People’s award-winning play Frozen River (nîkwatin sîpiy). A poignant and powerful play about reconciliation, environmentalism, and interconnectedness, Frozen River (nîkwatin sîpiy) tackles meaningful issues through engaging storytelling, whimsical puppetry, and an age-appropriate narrative – suitable for children and youth of all ages (5+) – about the generational impact of our actions on the environment and our communities. More information.

Sep 29 – In Conversation: Chrystal Sparrow, T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss and Rena Soutar

  • xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) artists Chrystal Sparrow and T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss will discuss their experiences participating in a cultural residency in Stanley Park with Cha’an Dtut-Rena Soutar, Manager of Decolonization, Arts & Culture at the Park Board. Register here.

Sep 29 – A Calls to Action Conversation on Truth and Reconciliation

  • Hear and learn from Indigenous leaders as they reflect on the Calls to Action and the meaning of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This event hopes to create an open and honest space to illuminate the reality of Indigenous experience in this country, as well as reflect on the nature of the September 30 holiday, when so many of the impactful Calls to Action remain incomplete. Register here.

Sep 30 – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (New Westminster)

  • Spirit of the Children Society will host a pipe ceremony at Westminster Pier Park to honour the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. More information.

Sep 30 – Orange Shirt Day: Walk and Ceremony (Grandview Park)

  • The Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre (VAFC) and the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre (VACPC) are gathering with elders and their families on Thursday for a walk and ceremony at Grandview Park. More information.

Sep 30 – Orange Shirt Day: Drum ceremony (Trout Lake)

  • The Nisga'a Ts'amiks Vancouver Society is gathering at Trout Lake to honour the children who died at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, among many other children who died because of residential schools. More information.

Sep 30 – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Healing Walk (Abbotsford)

  • On September 30th, Vancouver Career College’s Abbotsford campus will be hosting a healing walk in recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This walk will take place to recognize the impact residential schools have had on indigenous communities across Canada and to bring people together in order to heal wounds and bridge divides. More information.

Sep 30–Oct 3 – Free Admission at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

  • Reflect on our history. Connect to the land. September 30th will be a day of reflection, stories, learning, and contemplation at the SLCC. The day will be filled with programming throughout the Great Hall, Theatre, Istken Hall, Galleries, and out on the Mezzanine patio. More information.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Government of Canada

  • This webpage includes resources on reconciliation as well as events and offerings around Canada. More information.
Listen Tune in to a wide variety of audio files at home or on the go.

The Secret Life of Canada (CBC)

Unreserved

All My Relations

Henceforward

Telling Our Twisted Histories

  • Words connect us. Words hurt us. Indigenous histories have been twisted by centuries of colonization. Host Kaniehti:io Horn brings us together to decolonize our minds– one word, one concept, one story at a time. Some episodes of interest:

Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo

  • Where is Cleo? Taken by child welfare workers in the 1970’s and adopted in the U.S., the young Cree girl’s family believes she was raped and murdered while hitchhiking back home to Saskatchewan. CBC news investigative reporter Connie Walker joins the search to find out what really happened to Cleo.
Watch View a variety of resources online.

Senator Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

Every Child Matters: Reconcilitation – Act One & Two

Documentary: nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up

  • On August 9, 2016, a young Cree man named Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends. The jury’s subsequent acquittal of Stanley captured international attention, raising questions about racism embedded within Canada’s legal system and propelling Colten’s family to national and international stages in their pursuit of justice. Sensitively directed by Tasha Hubbard, nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.

Documentary: Highway of Tears

  • Highway of Tears is about the missing or murdered women along a 724 kilometer stretch of highway in northern British Columbia. You can rent the film here.

Documentary: We Know the Truth: Stories to Inspire Reconciliation

  • A CBC Manitoba documentary that recasts Canada's history and future through the empowerment of Indigenous people. Meet Indigenous people who are telling the true history of Canada and residential schools and creating change on their own terms. Reflect with residential school survivors and be inspired by those who are working hard to keep their culture and languages alive.

Namwayut: we are all one. Truth and reconciliation in Canada

  • Chief Robert Joseph shares his experience as a residential school survivor and the importance of truth and reconciliation in Canada in this documentary.
Read Use this collection of resources for reference all year long.

Langara’s Teaching and Curriculum Development Centre

  • The learning, unlearning and relearning needed for decolonization and Indigenization is a lifelong journey. It begins by learning the truth about Canada’s historical and current relationship with the First Peoples of this land, implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action, and exploring Indigenous cultures, perspectives, and worldviews with curiosity and respect. These resources offer a place to start that journey. 

Langara Library: Self-study for Reconciliation

  • This section highlights non-fiction, fiction, and creative non-fiction works, primarily by Indigenous authors, to help build cross-cultural awareness and understanding.  

Langara Library: Resources for Learning About Canada's Residential School System

  • Please note that the resources on this guide include survivor testimony and textual and visual depictions of psychological, physical, and sexual abuse. Please see the top of this page for information on support services.

Langara Library: National Day for Truth & Reconciliation Book Titles

Langara Library Reading List

  • A curated list by the Langara Library about truth and reconcilitation. 

Graphic History Collective: Remember | Resist | Redraw

  • A Radical History Poster Project featuring works by artists and writers offering alternative perspectives on well-known historical events, and highlighting histories of Indigenous peoples, women, workers, and the historically oppressed people that are often overlooked or marginalized in mainstream historical accounts. 

First Peoples: A Guide for Newcomers

  • This guide introduces newcomers to three important topics: who are Aboriginal people (or First Peoples) in Vancouver and Canada; a brief overview of the relationship between the Government of Canada and First Peoples; and current initiatives and ways for newcomers to learn more about Aboriginal people in the community.

First Peoples’ Map of BC

  • This map can be used to view Indigenous language regions, artists and artworks, place names and community landmarks. You can hear the pronunciation of language names, greetings, places and more. All of the 34 languages Indigenous to what is now called British Columbia are represented.

Vancouver Public Library: Indigenous Peoples in Canada Resource Guide

  • This guide is intended to help you find resources on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people and issues in B.C. and Canada, with a particular focus on Indigenous peoples in British Columbia.

Beyond 94

  • This website that monitors progress on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 Calls to Action.

A Reconciliation Reading List

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Reports

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)