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Day For Truth and Reconciliation 2023

What is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation?

2023 marks the third year of the official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day falls on September 30th, which coincides with Orange Shirt Day, an effort that began in 2013. Orange Shirt Day was created by former residential school survivors with the purpose of bringing survivors together, commemorating their experiences, and keeping the reconciliation process alive as they seek healing for all those impacted by residential schools.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is to raise awareness on those who have lost their lives because of residential schools, those who have never returned home, and those who are still impacted today. It is a time to listen to survivors and victims, learn, and educate ourselves.


The Library and the community’s role

As a library that resides in the home of the First Peoples of the Williams Treaties First Nations and other Indigenous peoples, we thank them for sharing this land.

Did you know that in action 69 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action, libraries are called upon as a partner for educating the public on residential schools? We acknowledge our role in the Call to Action and thus invite and encourage our community to learn with us about Indigenous history, past and present, and its impacts on Indigenous individuals in Canada. While we encourage learning on the topic of residential schools, we also encourage you to learn about and celebrate Indigenous culture. We have many enlightening reads on these topics available in our library that have been written by Indigenous authors.

EGPL will have National Day for Truth and Reconciliation displays available at both of our library branches for you to browse a variety of our books in person. We also have several booklists to get your reading started, but we invite you to go beyond our library and delve deeper into the many wonderful books that are out there.

East Gwillimbury Public Library booklists:

Other booklists:

Events at the East Gwillimbury Public Library:

York Cinemania

A collaboration between the East Gwillimbury Public Library and the Newmarket Public Library, will be showing a screening of the film Twice Colonized on Wednesday, September 27th at 7 pm at the SilverCity Newmarket Cinemas. The film is a documentary drama that follows renowned Inuit lawyer Aaju Peter who has led a lifelong fight for the rights of her people. When her youngest son unexpectedly passes away, Aaju embarks on a personal journey to bring her colonizers in both Canada and Denmark to justice. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Dream Catcher Workshop with Jake Charles

A workshop led by a traditional Anishinaabe knowledge sharer, teacher, and cultural guide in his community of the Chippewas of Georgina Island. The event is Tuesday, October 17th at 6 pm at our Mount Albert branch. Please register or join the waitlist on Eventbrite.

Indoor Story Walk

In partnership with Orange Hearts at our Mount Albert branch. Kids, families, and individuals can follow the story With Our Orange Hearts by Phyllis Webstad throughout the branch to learn about the meaning of Orange Shirt Day and reconciliation.

Flag Raising Ceremony with the Town of East Gwillimbury

The Town of East Gwillimbury will have a flag raising ceremony on Wednesday, September 27th at 9 am at the East Gwillimbury Civic Centre, 19000 Leslie Street, Sharon. Wear your orange shirt to the flag ceremony to show your support.

Friends of the East Gwillimbury Library presents Alicia Elliott

Mohawk writer Alicia Elliott will be our guest on November 1 to launch her second book And Then She Fell. Her first book A Mind Spread Out on the Ground was chosen by Tanya Talaga as the 2018 recipient of the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award. The book was a national bestseller in Canada. It was also nominated for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction and won the Forest of Reading Evergreen Award.

Learning more:

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is hosting daily education sessions throughout the Truth and Reconciliation Week (September 25 – 30).

Day 1, Mon., Sep 25: Indigenous peoples and the History of Residential Schools

Day 2, Tue., Sep 26: Unconscious bias and debunking stereotypes

Day 3, Wed., Sep 27: Intergenerational impacts and ongoing systemic discrimination

Day 4, Thur., Sep 28: Indigenous peoples’ rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Day 5, Fri., Sep 29: Taking action toward Reconciliation

All sessions are at 12:30 pm CDT (1:30 pm EDT) each day. Register through the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

For educators/parents/guardians:

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation has created a 5-day series during the Truth and Reconciliation Week (September 25 – 30) of pre-recorded videos for your children or class to learn about various topics. Access them here through the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

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