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Rights + Justice

Readings Toward Truth and Reconciliation

A dozen powerful pieces by Indigenous writers.

Tyee Staff 30 Sep

Today is Orange Shirt Day and the second-ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, commemorating residential school survivors and those who never returned home. We share here 12 relevant and eloquent pieces by Indigenous writers published over the past year in The Tyee. Please read, reflect and share.

A Post-Apology ‘To Do’ List
This noted Indigenous children’s rights leader reminds that ‘integrity is when words have meaning.’ By Cindy Blackstock

Monuments to What?
Colonial statues have come down. What we make of the rubble says a lot about us. By Michelle Cyca

A ‘Walk Together’ or an ‘Erasure Tour’?
Many Indigenous people view the Pope’s visit through wary eyes as they experience the ‘generational trauma’ imposed by his church. By Erin Blondeau

‘Horrifying at Worst and an Insult at Best’
I survived the ’60s Scoop. Here’s why the Pope’s apology isn’t an apology at all. By Lori Campbell

‘No Such Thing as an Indian Writer’
Because I am Indigenous, I was told I’d never make it. But I’m still here. By Joseph Kakwinokanasum

What Do Land Acknowledgements Really Mean?
And how do Indigenous people really feel about them? By Jenessa Joy Klukas

‘Before You Walk out That Door, Put Your Warrior on’
Honouring Elder Kat Zu’comulwat Norris’s strength and spirit. By Andrea Smith

Winter Is for Regeneration. The Garden’s, and Yours, Too
Reflections on enduring crisis, fostering mental health and tending plants as ritual. By Jess Housty

The Need for Indigenous-Led Housing
Canada should prioritize support for housing solutions created by Indigenous Peoples. By Katłįà (Catherine) Lafferty

Witnessing the Truth
A new book for kids shares Indigenous history, resistance and hope. By Andrea Smith

‘The Horse Will Choose You’
On trusting the process, healing and finding peace in the wild. By Brandi Morin

What We Do in the Dark
Every season has a purpose. Winter is for rest, reflection and rallying to the light. By Judith Sayers

851px version of ShoeMemorial.jpg
Tamara Bell, a Haida artist, gathered children’s shoes in May 2021 to create a memorial for children buried at Kamloops Indian Residential School, where 215 unmarked graves were detected. Photo by Maddi Dellplain.

Last year to mark this day we shared a different set of powerful pieces by Indigenous writers, published over the years by The Tyee:

Truth? Reconciliation? Find Meaning in These Indigenous Voices
Let this be a day when non-Indigenous people listen and absorb. Ten readings.

And here are some reports by non-Indigenous journalists published by The Tyee in the past year with special relevance for this day.

A Year after Kamloops, What’s Changed?
The discovery of unmarked graves at residential schools brought promises of action. But critics say it’s painfully slow. By Amanda Follett Hosgood

Revisiting the Record of the Sisters of St. Ann
‘It’s an ugly history.’ Survivors call for accountability, responsibility and transparency. A Tyee special report. By Francesca Fionda

A Colonial Reckoning at Little Flower Academy
A Vancouver Catholic girls school venerated their founders but downplayed their residential school history. Alumnae want answers. Second in a Tyee special investigation. By Katie Hyslop

‘Disaster Land Grabs’ Worldwide and in British Columbia
Amidst a crushing pandemic, a pipeline pushed through unceded territory. Experts say this fits a global pattern of power plays. A special report. By Amanda Follett Hosgood

Their Land Was Drowned by a Flood of Hydropower
BC sacrificed the Kwadacha Nation’s territory to build a dam. Where does today’s quest for new energy intersect with reconciliation? A special two-part feature. By Zoë Yunker

The Coming Indigenous Power Play
Inside the First Nations-led plan to decolonize British Columbia’s electricity. Last in a two-part special report. By Zoë Yunker

Delgamuukw: the Man and the Momentous Ruling
The powerful legacy of Earl Muldoe, the famous Gitxsan Hereditary Chief. By Ian Gill

‘Like Talking to an Elder’
As the Squamish Nation prepares to transform the land it once lost, the archival book ‘Conversations with Khahtsahlano’ bears new relevance. By Ben Mussett  [Tyee]

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