Reconciliation is every day.
My friend and I were having a conversation about the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. In the conversation, he asked, “What about the other 364 days?” That question stopped me in my tracks because I didn’t have an answer. I understand that, for some, NDTR is a good starting point for building awareness of reconciliation. But for me, it didn’t feel like I was doing enough. This question inspired me to find the magic in remote places. Since then, I’ve travelled across Turtle Island, visiting, listening and learning from people doing incredible work for the betterment of all. These folks need to be amplified and celebrated by people around the world. – Tim Carwell (BFN)
As a result, for the next 365 days, CommAlert will connect with community leaders to build a comprehensive resource that shares Indigenous voices and clear acts of reconciliation through reading, listening, watching, experiencing and participation. We hope these resources empower Canadians to take a more active role in their communities. Let’s create space for voices and stories that are rarely given the opportunity to be heard.
For those of you interested in learning now, we have gathered some resources to get you started. This list includes education on residential schools, treaties, government policy, and Indigenous stories and experiences. And Indigenous history, culture and experience are ours to discover.
This resource list is just the start. We will be building a comprehensive website and campaign called Reconciliation365. If you would like to get involved, please reach out to us.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 Calls to Action
If you want to learn more about Truth and Reconciliation, it’s essential to read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s report and 94 Calls to Action.
You can read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 Calls to Action.
Reconciliationeducation.ca: What are the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, and How are we working toward achieving them today?
TRC Reading Challenge: Join the thousands of Canadians who have signed up for the TRC Reading Challenge and are committed to taking the first step toward reconciliation.
TRC Report Audio Version: You can download and listen to an audio version of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s report and 94 Calls to Action.
We’ve compiled a reading list to help you learn more about the devastating legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Canada, treaty rights, The Indian Act, and the resilience of Indigenous people in Canada.
By Phil Fontaine, Amiee Craft, and The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
This book presents the history and legacy of residential schools with the purpose of informing the journey of reconciliation for all Canadians.
“It can start with a knock on the door one morning. It is the local Indian agent, or the parish priest, or, perhaps, a Mounted Police officer… The officials have arrived, and the children must go.”
Published by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada
This report, available from the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, shares the history, purpose, operation, and supervision of the Canadian residential school system. It highlights the negative impact, consequences of the system, and its ongoing legacy.
By Theodore Niizhotay Fontaine
Theodore Fontaine shares a powerful and groundbreaking memoir of survival and healing after years of abuse at residential schools. Fontaine (1941-2021) was a citizen and the former Chief of Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. He attended the Forst Alexander and Assiniboia Indian Residential Schools from 1948 to 1960.
By Bob Joseph
This book is an essential guide to understanding the legal document and its repercussions on generations of Indigenous Peoples. The Indian Act has shaped, controlled, and constrained the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Peoples. It shares how Indigenous folks can step out from under it, return to self-government, self-determination, and self-reliance – and why doing so would create a better country for every Canadian.
By John Ralston Saul
This book will educate you on treaty rights and how you can be a partner and ally in reconciliation. The author, John Ralston Saul, argues that sympathy and guilt are ineffective in stirring people into action. Instead, he educates readers on fundamental rights. This book outlines the history of treaties signed between First Nations and the Crown, how they were broken, and how the Supreme Court confirms the authority of Indigenous people today. This book is optimistic, showing the return of power, respect and influence of Indigenous people in Canada.
A Report from The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was mandated “to receive statements and documents from former students, their families, community and all other interested participants” and to recognize “the unique experiences” of all former students. Over 6,750 people gave recorded statements. Listen to their stories.
By Bruce McIvor
In this series of thoughtful and concise essays, Metis, historian and lawyer Bruce McIvor explains why reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is failing and what needs to be done to fix it. He reports from the front lines of legal and political disputes and shares a consistent and powerful message: if Canadians are brave enough to confront the reality of the country’s colonialist past and present and insist politicians replace empty promises with concrete change -there is a realistic path forward.
By Wab Kinew
Wab Kinew is a First Nations musician, broadcaster, and activist. In this memoir, Kinew shares about his childhood and his challenging relationship with his father, an Anishinaabe Chief who was physically and sexually abused in residential school. His honest storytelling shows the devastating impact of multigenerational trauma and what it takes to forgive.
By Isabelle Knockwood
Out of the Depths, 4th Edition, highlights the experiences of Mi’kmaw children at the Indian Residential School and Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. It shares powerful, first-person accounts from 12 Survivors of residential school system atrocities. They also share their reaction to the apology made by the Canadian government in 2008.
By Leanne Simpson
Read this compilation of short stories to experience a touching look into life in contemporary Indigenous communities. Leanne Simpson shows the unique experience of modern Indigenous people living in cities, towns, and on reserves. These beautiful stories amplify the voices of everyday people who are rarely heard in the media.
You can also listen to these beautiful stories via spoken word in this audio recording, created in collaboration with Indigenous musicians.
By Courtney W. Mason
Banff-Bow Valley in Alberta is the traditional territory for the Nakoda people. They were displaced from the region by the reserve system and for the creation of Canada’s first national park. However, in the 20th century, the resilient Nakoda reasserted their presence in the valley.
By Pamela Rose Toulouse
This is a must-read for educators in Canada. It provides current information, personal insights, resources, and interactive strategies and lesson plans that support Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners. It offers teachers respectful ways to infuse residential school history, treaty education, Indigenous contributions and perspectives into their subjects.
By Bev Sellars
Xatsu’ll Chief Bev Sellars shares her story of attending a church-run residential school. Residential schools forced separation from family, culture, and language. In addition, they sometimes addressed students by their assigned numbers, not by their names. Sellars shares the last impacts her experience had on her and her family and shares her own path to healing.
By Robin Wall Kimmerer
Braiding Sweetgrass shares Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teaching of plants. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and scientist, she shares the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. She circles towards a central argument that “the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world.
You can also check out Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults, an adaptation by Monique Gray Smith with illustrations by Nicole Neidhardt.
Read – For Kids
There are many excellent books and resources for children that share the stories and histories of residential schools in an age-appropriate way. Many of these books have read-along videos with the author or educators available on YouTube and publisher websites. A quick search will find them.
With our Orange Hearts (Ages 2-6)
By Phillis Webstad
In this book, author Phyllis Webstad shares her story in a way that helps young children process and share their feelings. “Every child matters, including you and me. With our orange hearts, we walk in harmony.”
Amik Loves School (Ages 3-6)
By Katherine Vermette
Amik loves going to school, but when he shares this with his grandfather, he learns that his Moshoom attended residential school. At Moshoom’s school, he was not allowed to speak his language. This gives Amik an idea…
My Name is Seepeetza (Ages 4-8)
By Shirley Sterling
Written as a diary, this book tells the story of a young girl who is taken from home and sent to the Kamloops Indian Residential School in the 1950s. It takes an honest look into the residential school experience, highlighting Seppeetza’s resilience throughout.
Phyllis’s Orange Shirt (Ages 4-6)
By Phyllis Webstad
This is an adaption of the Orange Shirt Story, a true story that inspired the movement of Orange Shirt Day, which later became the National Day for Truth & reconciliation. Little Phyllis is excited to wear her new orange shirt to residential school and heartbroken when they take it away.
Stolen Words (Ages 6-9)
By Melanie Florence, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
This story shares the relationship between a little girl and her grandfather. After learning that her grandfather lost his Indigenous language, Cree, growing up at a residential school, she sets out to help him find it again. It recognizes the pain and loss caused by residential schools, how that pain is passed down, and how healing can be shared.
When We Were Alone (Ages 6-8)
By David A. Robertson
This award-winning children’s book is about a little girl who notices how her grandmother has long braided hair, speaks Cree and spends time with her family. As she asks questions, her grandmother shares her experiences at residential school – when all these things were taken away.
Shin-chi’s Canoe (Ages 4-8)
By Nicola Campbell
Six-year-old Shin-chi is driven away to a residential school in the back of a cattle truck with his older sister. He endures a long year of hard work, hunger and loneliness before he returns home to his family.
Shi-shi-etko (Ages 4-8)
By Nicola Campbell
A young girl has four days before leaving home for residential school. Shi-shi-etko collects a “bag of memories” as she listens to teachings about her culture and the land. She doesn’t take the bag with her. Instead, she hides it for safekeeping while she is away.
Kookum’s Red Shoes (Ages 4-8)
By Peter Eyvindson
An elderly Kookum (grandmother) shares her experiences at a residential school. Throughout the story, Kookum shares what was lost in her life, how it changed her forever, and how goodness persisted.
Spirit Bear Book Series (All Ages)
By Cindy Blackstock and illustrated by Spotted Fawn Productions
The First Nations Child & Family Caring Society published the Spirit Bear book series. The four books are based on true events that relate to reconciliation education, teaching children and youth that “just because you’re small doesn’t mean you can’t stand tall!” You can order the books online or visit their website for a FREE digital download: https://fncaringsociety.com/spirit-bear/books-learning-guides
Not My Girl (Ages 6-9)
By Christy Jordan-Fenton
Margaret is excited to be home from residential school, but those years at school have changed her. She has forgotten her language, how to hunt and fish, and can’t even stomach her mother’s food. Over time, she works towards relearning the words and ways of her people.
The Secret Pocket (Ages 6-9)
By Peggy Janicki
This is a true story about how Indigenous girls at a Canadian residential school sewed secret pockets into their dresses to hide food and survive. They secretly gathered materials and sewed at nighttime, using the skills they learned from their mothers and grandmothers. Then, they used their pockets to hide food and to share with the younger girls.
I Am Not a Number (Ages 7-10)
By Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer
Irene is removed from her family to go to residential school. She is scared and homesick. Instead of using her name, she is assigned a number to go by. When she returns home from the summer, her parents decide never to send her or her brothers away again. But where will they hide? What will happen when her parents disobey the law?
I Lost My Talk (All Ages)
By Rita Joe
In this poem, Rita Joe from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, shares her experience losing her language at Shubenacadie school. This website has great talking points for your kids or students: https://poetryinvoice.ca/read/poems/i-lost-my-talk
By Sylvia Olsen
This collection of fictional stories follows five children through their real-life experiences at Kuper Island Residential School, as recounted by members of the Tsartlip First Nation in BC. This book is described as both funny and sad.
Fatty Legs: A True Story (Ages 9-12)
By Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
An eight-year-old Inuvialuit girl named Margaret wants to learn to read so badly that she is willing to attend residential school. A mean-spirited nun makes things difficult when she arrives, but Margaret refuses to be defeated.
A Stranger at Home: A True Story (Ages 9-12)
By Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
In this sequel to Fatty Legs, Margaret is now ten years old and comes home from a year at residential school. But her mother says she is “not my girl” when she gets home. Young readers will experience Margaret’s feelings of rejection as she tries to reconnect with her family, culture, and language.
As Long as the Rivers Flow (Ages 9-12)
By Larry Loyie
Cree author Larry Loyie writes about his last summer with his family before he was sent to residential school in Northern Alberta in 1944. He learns how to gather medicinal plants and care for a baby owl before leaving. His story shows how his education at home was disrupted by the residential school system.
The Ghost Collector (Ages 10+)
By Allison Mills
Rooted in the Cree worldview and inspired by stories of the author’s great-grandmother’s life, this book delves into questions of grief and loss. It introduces a new voice in tween fiction.
Sugar Falls: A Residential School (Ages 14-18)
By David A. Robertson
Based on a true story, a school assignment to interview a residential school Survivor leads Daniel to Betsy, his friend’s grandmother. Betty Ross, an Elder from Cross Lake First Nation, attended residential school starting at age eight. She endured abuse and indignity, but her father’s words gave her the strength and determination to survive.
Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Foundation
A Day to Listen amplifies Indigenous voices on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th. This year, listeners can tune into local radio stations from 6 AM-6 PM. 2023’s theme is Mino Bimaadiziwin: Honouring Indigenous Identity. Mino Bimaadiziwin means ‘the good life’ in Anishinabemowin. By celebrating the diversity of Indigenous identity, we honour the good way of life.
Guests will speak about Indigenous identity through conversations about representation in sports and entertainment, the fusion of traditional and contemporary music, land protection and the impacts of climate change, and more.
Hosted by Amber Dion and Terri Cardinal
Hosted by Amber Dion and Terri Cardinal in Treaty 6 territory, this unapologetic podcast creates space for Indigenous resurgence. It explores deep conversation about Indigenous knowledge and ways of life and how learning this is critical for Indigenous people today.
Hosted by Tchadas Leo
In this podcast, host Tchadas Leo explores all things Indigenous and First Nations! It features compelling discussions about Indigenous culture, cuisine, heritage, and more from Vancouver Island.
Gord Downie’s 10-song album, The Secret Path, was inspired by the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old boy who died in 1966 while escaping the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near Kenora, Ontario. Gord was introduced to Chanie’s story by his brother Mike, who shared Ian Adams’ Maclean’s story “The Lonely Death of Charlie Wenjack” from 1967.
The album was accompanied by a graphic novel illustrated and written by Jeff Lemire. You can find more information about that here: https://secretpath.ca/#book
Hosted by Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais, Created by Historica Canada
This three-part podcast series commemorates the history and legacies of residential schools. It honours the stories of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Survivors, their families and communities.
Created by CBC, hosted by Leah-Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson
The Secret Life of Canada is about “the country you know and the stories you don’t.” It reveals the beautiful, horrible, and strange histories of this land.
Hosted by Stephanie Cram
Who are the Metis? It’s complicated. This podcast shares the history of Metis people in Manitoba, starting with Louis Riel who is considered a hero to some and a traitor to others. Learn more about this intricate history as it leads from resistance to renaissance.
Hosted by Rosanna Deerchild
Unreserved is a CBC radio show and podcast hosted by Cree broadcaster, author and poet Rosanna Deerchild. It is a space for Indigenous voices and guides listeners to understand our shared story better. Unreserved allows us to learn, unlearn, laugh and be gentler in all our relationships.
Stoney Nakoda powwow group
Created by Rod Hunter in 1994, Eya-Hey Nakoda is an intergenerational, award-winning powwow group from Stoney Nakoda. The group size varies with each performance and gives you energized traditional singing and drumming, making you want to get up and move! They also participated in the soundtrack for the film Elder in the Making, which is listed as a resource in our Watch section.
Hosted by Kaniehtiio Horn
This podcast explores how Indigenous histories have been twisted by centuries of colonization. The host, Kaniehtiio Horn, brings listeners together to decolonize their thinking – one word, concept, and story at a time.
Hosted by CBC News Investigative Reporter Connie Walker
This eight-part podcast investigation unearths new information and potential suspects in the cold case of a young Indigenous woman who was murdered in British Columbia in 1989.
Hosted by Tristan Grant
Reclaimed explores the many worlds of Indigenous Music. Traditional songs. Acoustic Sounds. Hip hop, R&B, electric powwow and everything in between.
Listen – For Kids
Indigenous Earth Community Podcast (Ages 10+)
Hear from Indigenous conservation heroes worldwide on how they honour the traditions of protecting the planet, and get actionable tips on connecting to our beautiful earth while softening our ecological footprint!
Young and Indigenous Podcast (Ages 8+)
Children of the Setting Sun
Written and recorded by Indigenous youth, this podcast explores relevant topics on the rez, learning and sharing tribal stories, and introducing their language.
Warrior Kids Podcast (Ages 6+)
This podcast shares Indigenous cultures and values so that kids can learn about what it means to be strong, healthy and compassionate warriors for themselves, their families, communities and Nations.
Listen to a recent episode: 5 Things to Know About September 30
First Nations Child & Family Caring Society
If you liked the Spirit Bear book series, tune into this podcast! The informative episodes feature guest appearances from community members, advocates, and experts leading on several matters affecting First Nations children, youth, and families.
Molly of Denali Podcast (Ages 4+)
A fun prequel to the television show, Molly of Denali podcast shares stories of Molly, an Indigenous girl who lives in Alaska.
In this short film, residential school Survivors speak out on how the system impacted them, their children, and grandchildren.
The Secret Path – The Film
Created, written, and directed by Gord Downie; composed by Gord Downie with Keven Drew and Dave Hamelin. Illustrated by Jeff Lemire.
The Secret Path is an animated film adaption of Gord Downie’s album and Jeff Lemire’s graphic novel. It shares a powerful visual account of the life of Chanie Wenjack, retelling his escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School, who later died of hunger and exposure during harsh winter.
Indian Horse, the film, is adapted from the novel written by Richard Wagamese. It tells the story of Saul Indian Horse, a First Nations boy who survives abuse in the residential school system and uses his talent for ice hockey to escape his traumatic experience. You can watch the film on CBC Gem and Netflix.
You can also read the book: https://www.indianhorse.ca/en/book
Directed by Chris Hsiung and Co-produced by Cowboy Smithx
Embark on exploring Blackfoot territory in Treaty 6 in Southern Alberta. It offers a historical account of Treaty 7 and what it means for Indigenous people there. It also follows a Chinese-Canadian and Blackfoot person as they rediscover their shared connection to the land and future generations. https://vimeo.com/120376379
Directed by Zacharias Kunuk
This film is an adaptation of an ancient Inuit legend, filmed in Inuktitut and directed by Inuit filmmakers. This powerful drama is set in Igloonik, Nunavit, and “demystifies the exotic, otherworldly aboriginal stereotype by telling a universal story.”
CBC’s The Fifth Estate
Residential school survivors and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation members speak about their experience with the traumatic discovery of children’s graves near a former residential school.
Directed by Tasha Hubbard
This documentary tells the story of Colten Boushie, a Cree man who died by gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends. The jury’s acquittal of Stanley raised questions of racism embedded in Canada’s legal system. It propelled the Colten family to national and international stages in pursuing justice.
Available on Prime Video and Apple TV, Directed by Tracey Deer
This award-winning film tells the story of 12-year-old Beans and her experience through the Oka Crisis, a turbulent Indigenous uprising that tore Quebec and Canada apart for 78 tense days in the summer of 1990.
Here’s the trailer: https://youtu.be/ItjJduXxWAM?si=xrSrd5rYWGCLVHho
Available on Disney+
Reservation Dogs is a comedy that follows the exploits of a group of Indigenous teens and shows a realistic view of life on the reserve. This show is a breakthrough in Indigenous representation on television, on-screen and behind the scenes.
Watch – For Kids
What is Reconciliation? (All Ages)
Have you ever wondered what reconciliation is and what it means for Indigenous people? This video breaks down the truth about Canada’s history of residential schools, the TRC’s 94 calls to action and how we all can be part of the journey to reconciliation.
What is Orange Shirt Day? (All Ages)
September 30th is Orange Shirt Day. It’s also known as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Learn all about this important day and how it came to be.
The Word Indigenous Explained (All Ages)
Indigenous people are the first people to live in a place. In Canada, Indigenous people belong to a number of different communities or nations. CBC Kids News’s Sid and Ruby explain.
Molly of Denali – Grandpa’s Drum (All Ages)
Molly finds an old photo of Grandpa as a child and is shocked to see him singing and drumming—Grandpa never sings. When Grandpa tells her he lost his songs when he gave his drum away, Molly goes on a mission to find his drum and return his songs to him.
Maq and the Spirit of the Forest (All Ages)
This animated short tells the story of Maq, a Mi’kmaq boy who realizes his potential with the help of inconspicuous mentors.
Indigenous Films for the Classroom (Ages 9-11)
National Film Board of Canada
Geared towards younger learners, this playlist from acclaimed filmmakers brings Indigenous cinema into the classroom in a highly accessible way. The films touch on the topics of the influence of elders, realizing potential, sharing knowledge, discovering history, the power of nature, and more.
Indigenous Films for the Classroom (Ages 12-14)
National Film Board of Canada
For young teens, this playlist from acclaimed filmmakers brings Indigenous cinema into the classroom in a highly accessible way. The films touch on the topics of nationhood, identity, fatherhood, heritage, colonization, and more.
University of Alberta, Faculty of Native Studies
Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson (free) open online course that explores the different histories and contemporary perspectives of Indigenous people in Canada. It is taught from an Indigenous perspective, sharing the experiences Indigenous people face today and highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations.
This engaging online course can be taken as a family and with children.
University of British Columbia, Faculty of Education, Professional Development & Community Engagement
This free course will help you improve your understanding and knowledge of practices that advance reconciliation in the places you live, learn, and work. It shares Indigenous histories, perspectives, worldviews, and everyday experiences. Reconciliation must include changing institutional structures, practices, and policies to strengthen relationships with Indigenous peoples.
Between the late 1950s and early 1980s, over 22,500 First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children were apprehended, solicited, and trafficked across provinces, borders, and overseas by churches, adoption agencies, and child welfare social workers. Thousands of children grew up disconnected from their families, culture, language, and identity and suffered trauma and abuse. Hear their stories.
This touring exhibition explores the history and impacts of Canada’s Residential School System through Survivor stories, archival documents, and photographs curated by Iroquois artist Jeff Thomas. You can explore the online version, download a mobile tour, and join discussions on Facebook and Twitter.
Learn more about Jeff Thomas and his art.
The National Inquiry into MMIWG’s mission is to find the truth behind violence towards Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people. Their research is rooted in Indigenous methodology, and their vision is to allow Indigenous women and girls to reclaim their power and place. Learn more about their findings and how you can help make the change with them. https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/sacred_mmiwg-ffada_sacrees-2/
This organization shares Indigenous-led, settler-supported arts and culture. They aim to promote healing by transferring knowledge and culture through the arts. They offer artist spotlights, multi-media presentations, and Indigenous programming.
Identify and Acknowledge the Territory You Live In
What land do you live on? Learn about the Indigenous territories, communities, and landmarks you live in and near. Learning more about these traditional territories, including Indigenous place names, is an act of reconciliation.
- Whose Land is a web-based app that identifies Indigenous Nations and territories.
- GeoViewer from the Government of Canada shares locations of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities throughout Canada.
- Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada shares information about Indigenous placenames throughout Canada.
- Indigenous Place Names Handbook: shares an inventory of placenames and heritage sites in the Gwich’in Settlement Region on the Northwest Territories and Yukon.
- Parks Canada Indigenous Place Names: shares information on the national parks and historical sites that are significant to Indigenous culture and connection to the land – using their place names.
- Place Names in Alberta: Many places in Alberta are named by Indigenous names. For example, Okotoks is Cree for “good or lush meadow,” and Nisku is Cree for “goose.” Learning the meaning of these names can help you honour Alberta’s Indigenous heritage.
The NCTR is a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of the residential school experience are told and heard. The website is a massive archive of resources for ongoing research and learning. It shares news, events, stories, educational opportunities, and steps for taking action towards reconciliation.
The Downie Wenjack Foundation provides access to education on the true history of Indigenous people in Canada and the history and legacy of Residential Schools. They offer programs and events that encourage reconciliation and reconcili-ACTION.
Support Indigenous Businesses
Supporting Indigenous businesses, creators, and artists will help grow the Indigenous economy and is a way to take small actions towards reconciliation. You can locate Indigenous Business Directories in your local area with a Google search. Here are a few to get you started:
- Edmonton Indigenous Business Directory
- Alberta Indigenous Business Directory
- Saskatchewan Indigenous Business Directory
- Manitoba Indigenous Business Directory
- BC Indigenous Business Directory
- Canadian Council for Aboriginal Businesses
This Indigenous non-profit organization aims to address institutional racism in the Canadian government, corporate and non-profit organizations. It focuses on opportunities to educate non-Indigenous leaders and community members on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. If you want to learn how to implement the calls to action and make long-term changes, check out their website!
This organization engages Canadians in dialogue and transformative experiences that actively work towards reconciliation. They offer workshops, resources, programs and a “back pocket reconciliation action plan” that helps Canadians make reconciliation a part of day-to-day life. Visit the website to learn how you can get involved.
The Orange Shirt Society established Orange Shirt Day based on Phyllis Webstad’s story. She is a citizen of Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. When Phyliss was six years old, she arrived at the Mission residential school in her beloved new orange shirt. Upon arrival, they took her shirt and all her clothes, never to be worn again. That orange shirt was a constant reminder of residential schools’ harmful and abusive impact on Indigenous children and their families.
Wearing an orange shirt on September 30th helps bring awareness to the individual, family, and community intergenerational impacts of residential schools. However, the Orange Shirt Day Society encourages you to act on reconciliation EVERY DAY and provides these resources to help: https://orangeshirtday.org/reconciliation-hub/
Donate to an Indigenous organization
Help raise funds and donate to a Friendship Centre or Indigenous-led non-profit organization near you. If you live in Alberta, you can check out the Government of Alberta’s Guide to Indigenous Organizations and Services for a list.
Indigenous cultures throughout Canada are unique, rich, and celebrated. Expand your knowledge and have meaningful experiences – learning about Indigenous people’s history, culture, stories, and ways can bring understanding and strengthen relationships.
Located near Smoky Lake, Alberta, Metis Crossing is the province’s first and only Metis cultural interpretive centre. It is built on the original river lots of Metis settlers to this region in the late 1800s. Programming encourages visitors’ active participation in activities that promote and preserve Metis people, customs, and celebrations.
This interpretive centre is on a Canadian National Heritage site, the site where Treaty 7 was signed in Siksika, Alberta. Learn about the authentic Blackfoot culture through exhibitions, workshops, performances, events, and tours. On the grounds, you can explore the area and learn about the historical significance to local Indigenous people through interpretive signage and trail markers.
Located in Morley, Alberta, the Chiniki Cultural Centre showcases the Chiniki culture through exhibitions, displays, galleries, workshops, and guided tours. You can also experience Indigenous cuisine at the on-site restaurant and try recipes that have been passed down for generations.
If you’re in Waterton National Park, check out the Blackfoot Cultural interpretive programming at the Paahtomahksikimi Culture Centre. They offer lectures, events, workshops and other learning experiences through storytelling, traditional games, art, music, and an annual powwow.
Indigenous Tourism Alberta offers a directory of authentic Indigenous experiences throughout the province. From Indigenous-owned and operated accommodation, food and entertainment to art and culture and guided tours, there are so many opportunities to participate and experience the richness of our local Indigenous cultures.
Indigenous peoples have called these lands home since time immemorial. Destination Indigenous connects people with Indigenous guides and experiences that will help deepen connections to shared traditions and a shared history. Find experiences across Canada.
Parks Canada works with Indigenous partners to provide Indigenous experiences and learning opportunities at national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas across Canada. If you’re travelling to a national park or historic site, check the link to see what First Nations, Metis, and Inuit sites, stories, and programs you can participate in.