KPMB recognizes National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30, 2021
September 30, 2021 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. The day honours the lost 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 inflicted on Indigenous peoples and communities and the ongoing impacts of and continued harm caused by the residential school system in Canada.
It is imperative that we as an organization, as well as the architecture field in Canada as a whole, 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 take a moment of silence at 2:15 pm on September 30 to acknowledge the children who never returned home to their families and communities. This time recognizes the 215 unmarked graves found at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. in June 2021.
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. It marks a day for meaningful dialogue about the effects of the residential schools. For those who do not have an orange shirt to wear, consider donating to an Indigenous organization instead of buying one.
In support of Indigenous peoples, KPMB has made donations to Woodland Cultural Centre, Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, and Anishnawbe Health Toronto. We encourage our peers to pledge their support and donate to Indigenous groups and organizations working towards truth and reconciliation.
September 30 is a day to learn and understand the significance. Settler descendants and non-Indigenous Canadians can access numerous online resources. Below, please find resources we’re learning from and listening to.
- RAIC’s The Path – Indigenous Culture Awareness Training
- University of Alberta’s free Indigenous Canada course that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada.
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report and findings and 94 calls to action
- The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
- OAA’s Summary Report of Roundtables on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
- From Earth to Sky, a documentary about Indigenous architects
Canadian Architect has compiled a comprehensive list of resources for architects and designers here.
We are eager 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.