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KPMB recognizes National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Kamloops Indian Residental School - Orange Shirt Day

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September 30, 2022

Today marks the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, honouring the thousands of children and survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people.

We recognize and commemorate the trauma and oppression suffered by Indigenous peoples and communities and acknowledge the ongoing impacts of and continued harm caused by the residential school system in Canada.

It is imperative that KPMB, as well as architects and designers across Canada, educate ourselves about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s findings and 94 calls to action and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Reflect, Pledge, and Support

As a sign of respect and reflection, KPMB encourages you to tune into a special one-hour commemorative gathering held by APTN in partnership with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, at LeBreton Flats Park in Ottawa, which will air simultaneously across all APTN channels, at 1:00pm EST.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day take place on September 30. Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours the children who survived Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not. This day relates to the experience of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. On her first day of school, when she arrived dressed in a new orange shirt, it was taken from her. It is now a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations and marks a day for dialogue about the effects of the residential schools.

In support of Indigenous peoples, today KPMB has made donations to The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund and to Anishnawbe Health Toronto. We know that learning and unlearning, reflecting, and supporting Indigenous communities must happen year-round, not just today.

In 2021, KPMB began a partnership with Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures program, which provides bursaries to young Indigenous people in Canada pursuing higher education. KPMB’s annual gift of $15,000 provides support to Indigenous students pursuing post-secondary education in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and related design fields.

“I have realized there is a lack of qualified people within this sector amongst my community of Kettle & Stoney Point First Nation. This has motivated me more to continue down this path because I could be the change that my reserve and many others deserve. The lack of basic infrastructure has been ignored for far too long and I hope that I can achieve in making this no longer an issue for future generations to deal with,” wrote a first-year student and bursary recipient in the GIS and Urban Planning program at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario.

We encourage our peers to pledge their support and donate to Indigenous groups and organizations working towards truth and reconciliation. And we continue to look  to build new relationships with Indigenous communities and to support them in tangible, sustainable ways. We have undertaken some important initiatives, and we are committed to doing more. Please reach out if you have opportunities or partnerships to share that you feel we would be well-suited to support.