Sheridan is committed to reconciliation and ensuring the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools is never forgotten. In 2021, the federal government passed legislation to make September 30 the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.
September 30 is a day for remembrance, mourning, learning and growth. It is an opportunity to honour the survivors, families and communities impacted by residential schools and the continued trauma faced by Indigenous communities throughout the country. Sheridan held a virtual observance in 2021 and committed to a slate of programming going forward that engages as many members of our community as possible.
To that end, we are commemorating this year’s observance with a schedule of educational and engaging programming in the lead up to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 2023.
Please note that in recognition of the weight that this day holds, classes will not be held on Saturday, September 30, 2023 as posted this past spring to the academic calendar.
A working group co-chaired by Fallon Melander, Special Advisor to the President and Vice Chancellor on Indigenous Engagement, and Dawn Sweeney, Associate Dean, Student Success Programs, and comprised of members from the Office of Inclusive Communities, the Centre for Indigenous Learning and Support, the Sheridan Student Union and other faculty and staff across Sheridan has been working to offer programming in the lead up to September 30, along with a curation of resources and supports to aid in our community’s education of this day to honour the survivors of Residential schools, and the children who never came home.
“Every Child Matters” Flag Raising
Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process. By raising the “Every Child Matters” flag on our campuses, we are honouring the children who never returned home, the survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities.
Join us to raise the “Every Child Matters” flag at Sheridan’s Trafalgar Road Campus. Please wear an orange shirt to show your support. Learn more about why we wear orange.
Date: Monday, September 25
Time: 10–10:30 a.m.
Location: Trafalgar Road Campus (outside J-wing by the Medicine Wheel Garden)
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Keynote Address: Kendal Netmaker
Join us for an enlightening and inspiring keynote address by Kendal Netmaker, an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and Indigenous speaker. This event, in honour of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, promises to deepen your understanding and inspire positive change.
Date: Tuesday, September 26
Time: 12–1 p.m.
Online: Register now
An award-winning entrepreneur and author, Kendal Netmaker is a master storyteller who uses his natural gift to help people shift their mindset and find the success they seek. He speaks professionally to thousands of people worldwide on resilience, leadership, and the power of telling your story, weaving his real-life experiences into motivating lessons that empower and build more resilient leaders and organizations.
From Sweetgrass First Nation, Netmaker and his siblings were raised by their single mother. Life wasn’t easy growing up on the reserve surrounded by poverty and few opportunities, but one moment changed his life forever. In grade five, he and his best friend shared a love of sports, but his family couldn’t afford extracurricular activities. So, his friend’s family stepped in. They paid the fees and drove him to his games and practices. It wasn’t until he was older that Netmaker understood exactly what this family did for him, and how different his life would have been without them. This has motivated him throughout his life and drives him still to this day.
Today, Netmaker is a leading entrepreneur whose passion to succeed is contagious. He is the founder of Neechie Gear, a lifestyle apparel brand that gives back a percentage of its profits to help underprivileged youth take part in sports. Netmaker has won over 25 business awards, including being named one of Canada’s “Top 40 Under 40” and being runner-up at the YBI Global Entrepreneur of the Year. He is also the author of Driven to Succeed: From Poverty to Podium.
One Heart Orange Rock Activity
Led by instructors Julie Jaglowtiz and Sharon Hall, second-year students in the Child and Youth Care program have curated on-campus sessions where members of the Sheridan community are encouraged to paint rocks in remembrance of the Survivors of and children who lost their lives in residential schools.
Trafalgar Road Campus
Date: Friday, September 29
Time: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Location: Learning Commons
Date: Monday, September 25
Time: 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Date: Thursday, September 28
Time: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Daily Lunch & Learns: Reconciliation Starts with Education
Learning and commemorating the truth of our history from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit knowledge keepers is an important part on the path of reconciliation. Interested in learning more? During Truth and Reconciliation Week 2023, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is inviting anyone interested to join virtual daily lunch and learns for an immersive experience to UN-learn the myths of colonial history in Canada.
Date: Monday, September 25–Saturday, September 30
Time: 12:30–1:30 p.m. (daily)
Online: Register now
A week of learning and reflection: Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund
The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund is hosting its first ever Truth and Reconciliation Week, featuring two webinars and a series of resources and discussion guides to continue your reconciliation journey.
Date: Monday, September 25–Monday, October 2
Online: Register now
Every member of the Sheridan community has a role to play in advancing truth and reconciliation.
We invite you to take one or more of the following actions as part of this commitment.
- Read the 94 Calls to Action.
- Read one or more of the Truth and Reconciliation Reports.
- Visit the Orange Shirt Society’s website to learn about the history of the day and access teaching resources.
- Review the resources available at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s website, including the interactive map of residential schools.
- Purchase an orange shirt and wear it on September 30 to demonstrate your solidarity. Additionally, you may consider making a donation to support Sheridan’s Centre for Indigenous Learning and Support.
- Sign up for Sheridan’s online workshop on September 27: Travelling Down the River Together: Living Truth and Reconciliation.
- Sign up for Sheridan’s six-part workshop series Looking Forward, Looking Back: Indigenous Learning Series (available for Sheridan faculty and staff).
- Indigenous students can review the Babamadizwin guide for information about available supports (part of Sheridan’s Well Series).
- Visit Sheridan’s medicine garden at the Trafalgar Road Campus (Oakville).
- Take a virtual tour of the Mohawk Institute Residential School.
- Review Sheridan library’s Indigenous Studies Guide.
- Review the resources on Sheridan’s digital repository, including Cultivating Trauma-Informed Spaces in Education.
- Listen to the podcast The Secret Life of Canada about the untold and undertold history of Canada as it relates to Indigenous people.
- Learn about intergenerational trauma and trauma-informed pedagogy.
- Take the free Indigenous Canada course on Coursera.
- Visit UBC’s Indigenous Foundations website for information about the history, politics, and cultures of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
- Listen to the CBC podcast Kuper Island, which tells the story of four students who attended one of the most notorious residential schools.
- Watch the film We Were Children, which tells the story of two children who attended residential schools.
- Read 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph.
- Read Five Little Indians by Michelle Good.
- Read Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga.
- Check out CBC’s recommendations for 35 books to read for National Indigenous History Month.
- Talk to your children about truth and reconciliation — check out CBC’s recommendations for 17 children’s books for National Indigenous History Month.
- Watch Starleigh Grass’ TEDx Talk on teaching about residential schools.
- Visit the Debwewin Project website to learn about Oakville’s truth and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
- Learn about the treaties that apply where you work and where you live — start by looking online for a map of Ontario treaties.
- Learn about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- Commit to incorporating truth and reconciliation into your curriculum or workplace.
- Share the truth about residential schools with family and friends.
- Honour the children in a way that is meaningful to you.