We unite as a resounding voice for change, a symbol of unity, and a beacon of healing. With the days growing shorter and the air turning crisp, we find ourselves entering a season of deep reflection and heartfelt remembrance. This September 30th, we extend an earnest invitation for you to stand alongside us in commemorating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
This day holds great importance in Canada's history, reminding us of the lasting impact of the Residential School system on generations. We will honour the First Nation, Métis, and Inuit survivors of Residential Schools and commemorate those who did not return. PAPER LABEL will be reflecting on the legacies of the Residential School system, colonial policies and the cultural genocide of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
At PAPER LABEL, we've always believed in the transformative power of fashion — a medium that transcends mere clothing and emerges as a formidable agent of expression and advocacy. Today, we implore you not only to wear orange but to adorn it with a profound sense of purpose. Here are actions that we at PAPER LABEL are exploring.
On September 30th, we ask that you join us in wearing orange. Orange holds a significant meaning in this context, as it represents the legacy of residential schools. It also serves as a symbol of support for survivors and their families. By wearing orange, you can show your solidarity with Indigenous communities and your commitment to reconciliation.
On September 30th, we will donate 25% of our sales to The Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS) – a provincial organization with a twenty-year history of providing services to Indian Residential School Survivors. However, our commitment doesn't stop there. Throughout the entire month of October, we will continue to donate 2% of our sales to the same charity, ensuring our support is ongoing and sustainable.
HONOURING THE SURVIVORS
Sarain Fox hails from the Anishinaabe community of Batchawana First Nation, situated near Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario. She possesses a deep-seated commitment to uplifting Indigenous communities and amplifying their voices, particularly those of the younger generation. Sarain is a versatile artist and advocate, emerging from a lineage rich in storytelling tradition. Her mother and great-aunt are the oral record keepers of the family. They have passed down age-old wisdom from generations of knowledge-bearers and instilled in her a profound pride in her Indigenous heritage. Consequently, Sarain has emerged as a dynamic and passionate advocate for the Indigenous community.
Sarain is the great-niece of Mary Bell, an Anishinaabe individual originating from Batchawana First Nation. Mary endured an eight-year stint at the Spanish Residential School, dedicating her entire adult life to the pursuit of justice for survivors of such institutions. During her childhood, Sarain observed Mary and her mother working together tirelessly to reclaim their cultural identity and pave the way for future generations' healing.
Our heartfelt desire for Auntie Mary is that she may spend the remainder of her years free from the burden of financial hardship.
LEARNING THE HISTORY
The enduring consequences of Residential Schools continue in the present. For many survivors, the act of recounting their time within these schools entails revisiting the profound traumas they endured, leading many to keep their painful experiences concealed for years.
- Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice
- Visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website
- Learn about residential schools and take a tour of former sites, such as those offered by the Woodland Cultural Centre
- Research First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in your area to understand their history and contributions to society
- Access the Indigenous Resource Guide curated by NSCC Libraries
We've gathered a selection of resources that delve into the history and experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada. We encourage you to read, watch, and listen to these materials to gain a deeper understanding of the journey towards reconciliation.
- One Story, One Song by Richard Wagamese
- Red Women Rising, Indigenous Women Survivors in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside by Carol Muree Martin and Harsha Walia
- 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph
- Métis In Space
- All My Relations
- Coffee with My Ma
- Missing & Murdered
Movies and Documentaries:
- We Were Children by NFBC
- Stories in Our Bones
- The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open
- Call Me Human
ATTENDING AN EVENT
We encourage you to attend Indigenous cultural events open to the public. You can find various online events in cities across Canada that you can participate in by clicking here. Below is a list of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation events nationwide.
Together, we can make a difference! Through education, awareness, and meaningful action, we can contribute to the journey towards truth and reconciliation.
With love and hope,
#OrangeShirtDay #TruthAndReconciliation #SupportIRSSS #IndigenousRights #WearOrange #GiveBack #Donations
Photo by Sonya Romanovska on Unsplash