National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
This year will be the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. And like many firsts, it is a major moment in history.
Indigenous people across the country are celebrating another Truth and Reconciliation call to action being responded to — the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation being proclaimed!
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Falling on Sept. 30, the new national holiday was passed through Parliament in June, honouring the survivors, lost children and broken families of residential schools — and the continuing impact it has on past and present generations of Indigenous people and communities.
We hope it continues to strengthen reconciliation commitment, acknowledgment and actions on behalf of non-Indigenous Canadians across Canada. We hope others will join with us in remembering, commemorating and honouring our ancestors, lost children and generations.
How to Participate
Joining the public commemoration on Sept. 30 can be done in a number of ways, from attending local events to supporting organizations and causes, or following news reports and social media to learn about ways to get involved. Networks of families and friends, as well as companies and organizations, can all take part in the new commemorative holiday.
Qualia hosts Water Walks, which are part of Indigenous ceremonies for water purification and advocacy, and will be hosting a vigil on Sept. 28 at the former Mohawk Institute Residential School. This event will pay respect to residential school survivors, family and intergenerational survivors.
Reconciliation is personal, interpersonal and community oriented. Honouring the day may include learning more truth about Indigenous peoples, knowledge and relations — as well as residential school experiences. It may also include a personal commitment or reconciliation statement or goals or attending a community event before or on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Qualia’s Commitment to Indigenous Past and Present
There are countless generations of Indigenous truth. Exploring these stories is a commitment that Qualia Counselling Services takes seriously, both at an organizational level and through its clinics that help improve patients’ well-being.
Truth and Reconciliation is a national conversation, and we hope one that’s happening in all sorts of organizations and companies and education and services.
For us at Qualia, we’re committed to Truth and Reconciliation by helping people share their truth. That’s really critical to healing, from a trauma-informed lens, to help people share the truth that they’ve experienced, and to recognize the impact, but also to process and recover and connect to post-traumatic growth, despite those experiences.
Mental health issues in Indigenous communities can include historical trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and grief, in addition to the depression, anxiety, hopelessness and suicidal ideation that may result from them, Fleming explains. These are some of the long-term impacts seen today after centuries of Indigenous trauma and the lingering effects of the residential school system — as well as current inequalities.
Truth and Reconciliation through Education & Awareness
Qualia maintains an educational partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University, increasing awareness about Indigenous people, cultures, history and the historical trauma that has created a “burden of illness” on members of these communities.
Any company or organization can make commitments to Truth and Reconciliation and its 94 calls to action, including consulting with teachers or trainers to set goals. Qualia can also provide consultation for organizations interested in learning and supporting the cause.
We’re just very committed to Truth and Reconciliation. We have an organizational and strategic plan, from the services that we provide to our Indigenous service users, to the staff in terms of training — and externally with our partners and the services we offer in the community.
Learn more about mental health services and Qualia’s work with Indigenous communities at www.qualiacounselling.com/indigenous