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In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission makes the following calls to action.
Do something by writing to your local Member of Parliament (MP). Your MP was elected to bring your opinion and views to Parliament. They depend on you to educate them about what issues should be considered most important. Writing a letter takes a short amount of time and it ensures that the people who make decisions on your behalf know how you want to be represented.
Secret Path Focused:
“The Lonely Death of Chanie Wenjack” Written By Ian Adams, MacLean’s Magazine, 1967
In 1967, a Maclean’s cover story told the tragic tale of Chanie Wenjack, an Indigenous boy who died after running away from his residential school in northern Ontario. Gord Downie has explained that this story inspired him to write Secret Path and so begun the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund.
Chanie’s Life Journey (Map) ArcGIS Online for Manitoba Schools
This Story Map chronicles the life of Chanie Wenjack and engages us in the ongoing conversation about truth and reconciliation.
The Secret Path (Documentary) CBC
The Secret Path is an animated film from Gord Downie that tells the true story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old boy who died while trying to escape from a residential school and travel back home.
Secret Path Lesson Plans Manitoba Teachers’ Society (French & Eng)
Includes lesson plans for early years, middle years and senior years.
The Secret Path: Jr. High Lesson Plans through Edmonton Public Schools
The five lesson plans included in this series are meant to help teachers explore the Secret Path book and video with students in grades 7 to 9. Each lesson plan has a corresponding PowerPoint with embedded video.
Indigenous Perspectives Education Guide by Historica Canada
Popular narratives of Canadian history have most frequently been told from the perspective of European settlers. As a result, Indigenous experiences have often been neglected or excluded from the telling of our country’s history.
National Center for Truth and Reconciliation Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
A shared vision held by those affected by Indian residential schools was to create a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of their experiences were honoured and kept safe for future generations.
On Screen Protocols & Pathways: A Media Production Guide To Working With First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Communities, Cultures, Concepts & Stories (French & English)
While this resource was commissioned by imagineNATIVE to provide cultural principles, key findings from a national consultation process, and best practices for filmmakers, production companies, and funders when depicting Indigenous content on-screen, it is well worth the read for everyone to better understand their own role in sharing Indigenous knowledge, stories and learning.
Orange Shirt Day Society
September 30th has been declared Orange Shirt Day annually, in recognition of the harm the residential school system did to children’s sense of self-esteem and well-being, and as an affirmation of our commitment to ensure that everyone around us matters.
Starting to Talk: A Guide for Communities on Healing and Reconciliation from the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools by The Sioux Lookout Community Coalition for Healing and Reconciliation c/o the Sioux Lookout Anti-Racism Committee
Starting to Talk – a guide if you don’t know where to begin.
They Came for the Children by The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Report created by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Issued also in French under the title “Ils sont venus pour les enfants”.
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
The official resolution was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on September 13, 2007.
VIDEO: Talking to kids about Residential Schools
In this video, Monique Gray Smith share tips on both talking to kids about Residential Schools, but also how to prepare yourself as the adult to have these conversations. The video is for parents, grandparents, educators…anyone really with children in their lives. Also included are a number of author tips of books to read, and podcasts to deepen and continue your learning.
Where are the Children? Legacy of Hope Foundation
The resilience of Indigenous Peoples is evident in efforts to address the effects of unresolved trauma, thereby conferring upon future generations a renewed legacy of peace, strength, and well-being on this interactive website.
Woodland Cultural Centre – Save the Evidence
As one of only a handful of residential school buildings left still standing in Canada, the Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School is a physical reminder of the legacy of assimilation imposed upon Indigenous children in Canada.
Indigenous Writes, A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada, Chelsea Vowel
Seven Fallen Feathers, Tanya Talaga
Speaking Our Truth, Monique Gray Smith
Fatty Legs, written by Margaret-Olemaun Pokiak-Fenton and Christy Jordan-Fenton, illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes
My Name Is Seepeetza, written by Shirley Sterling
Phyllis’s Orange Shirt, written by Phyllis Webstad
Shin-Chi’s Canoe, written by Nicola Campbell, illustrated by Kim Lafave
Shi-Shi Etko, written by Nicola Campbell, illustrated by Kim Lafave
When we were Alone, written by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Julie Flett
Sugar Falls, A Residential School Story, written by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Scott B. Henderson
Template letters to Parliament:
The Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society is committed to building upon the strengths of Indigenous Children, youth and families to enable them to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally so that they can walk proudly in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. This is their draft letter to parliament:
Orange Shirt Day Society:
More resources can be found at: https://downiewenjack.ca/our-work/legacy-schools-programs/resources