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Join us on September 30 for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Beaded orange shirt on paper wall background

Sep 28, 2022

September 30 marks the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day, originally called Orange Shirt Day, was created to honour the victims and survivors of residential schools. Ottawa Public Library (OPL) employees, like many others, will be wearing an orange shirt on Friday, September 30 to honour the experiences of residential school survivors and reaffirm that every child matters.   

In collaboration with Anishinābe Algonquin Host Nation, OPL decided to open seven of its larger branches on the statutory holiday to raise awareness and support public education about the intergenerational impact of residential schools. OPL is committed to building stronger relationships with both the Host Nation and local First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. 

The selected OPL branches are open from 10 am to 5 pm on Friday, September 30 and will host the following programs:  

Meet Jay Odjick during his presentation of Residential Schools: A Lasting Impact at St Laurent branch (10:30 am - 11:30 am) and at Ruth E. Dickinson branch (2 pm - 3 pm)  
Jay Odjick, creator of the first Indigenous superhero television series, will speak about his community's experience and the way it informed his career.  

Join Bevann Fox on Zoom at 10 am for a virtual presentation: Voices to be heard as she talks about the impact of residential schools and her book Genocidal Love. Bevann Fox will also address the healing process as it continues today and her thoughts regarding truth and reconciliation. 

Dive into the exhibition: Youth on Reconciliation - Imagine a Canada by Legacy of Hope Foundation (Ruth E. Dickinson branch) 
This exhibition, which will be held at Ruth E. Dickinson from September 30 to November 4, explores the concept of Reconciliation through artistic expression and what that means to youth in Canada.

Take a storywalk® of When We Were Alone by David Alexander Robertson (all seven branches)   
Whether with family or friends, take the time to read this poignant story of a victim of the residential school system. Visit one of the seven open branches to experience this bilingual family storywalk®.    

Watch the streaming of National Film Board films related to residential schools – at all seven branches open that day: 

  • Sisters and Brothers by Kent Monkman 

  • Retour à Holy Angels by Jay Cardinal Villeneuve 

  • Hommage au sénateur Murray Sinclair by Alanis Obomsawin 

  • Nos histoires – Ça devait être fait by Tessa Desnomie 

Read the 94 Calls to Action 
You can pick up and take home a copy of the 94 Calls to Action booklets, published by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation of the University of Manitoba and available at all seven branches open that day. 

In addition, OPL has put together printed booklists, educational toolkits, and resources. The open branches will display curated books from OPL’s collection and notable quotes from Indigenous authors featuring their voices, experiences, and perspectives. To learn more about the residential school system and the experiences of Indigenous children and youth who were torn away from their family, community, and culture, you can browse the OPL collection or visit the Indigenous webpage on the OPL website which has been enriched with new books and titles by First Nations, Inuit, and Métis, and authors, artists, and creators.  

Visit OPL on September 30, or anytime soon, to take a step along a path of Reconciliation and build a greater understanding of this too-little known part of our history and its reverberations into the present day. Listen to stories of residential school survivors and hear their thoughts about the reconciliation process.  

OPL thanks the Friends of Ottawa Public Library Association (FOPLA) for its generous contribution in support of these programs. 

Every Child Matters.