Haldimand County will observe the Government of Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Saturday, September 30, 2023.
Closures and Service Disruptions:
All Haldimand County Public Library branches will be closed Saturday, September 30.
Haldimand County Administration Building will be closed Monday, October 2.
Canborough Waste Management Facility will be closed Saturday, September 30 and Monday, October 2.
There will be NO garbage or recycling collection on Monday, October 2. All curbside collection will be delayed by one day this week.
In 2021, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was approved as a public holiday for all Haldimand County staff. September 30 is not a celebration, but a day of remembrance. It is intended as time to reflect on the past ills done to the Indigenous community in Canada, acknowledge the current barriers as a result of colonization, and to identify actions to promote change.
As a Corporation, Haldimand County is taking steps towards truth and reconciliation efforts. Council adopted a land acknowledgement statement for the purposes of recognizing the traditional territory of the Indigenous people, modern communities and the commitment of working towards common goals and objectives. The details of this adoption, including considerations and process taken, are outlined in Report HRD-06-2022. Council has the following acknowledgement read at the beginning of all formal meetings, ceremonies and events:
As we gather, we humbly acknowledge that Haldimand County sits on the ancestral land of many generations of Indigenous nations, who have been here since time immemorial.
Today, this land continues to be home to many Indigenous peoples, including the Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, as well as non-Indigenous settlers from a variety of backgrounds. As a community, we have a shared responsibility for stewardship of the land on which we live and work. We are grateful for the opportunity to work together and to share the land we all call home.
Acknowledging reminds us that our living conditions are directly related to the abundant resources of the Indigenous peoples. We commit to continue learning, reflecting on our past, and working in ally ship with Indigenous communities, toward respective community goals and objectives, in peace, respect and friendship.
The Every Child Matters flag will be flown at Haldimand County Administration Building for the week up to and including September 30, 2023. Haldimand County will be participating in Orange Shirt Day. Haldimand County staff are encouraged to learn more through access to a variety of educational resources/webinars, films, books and historical items relating to Indigenous history, as well as will be given the opportunity to visit Woodland Cultural Centre to learn the history behind residential schools, and hear interviews from five survivors. In gratitude, Haldimand County commits to make a donation to their education department and to preserving evidence and artifacts. Staff are also encouraged to attend a virtual Truth and Reconciliation presentation from the Mohawk Institute.
There are a number of ways to participate in truth and reconciliation efforts. Below are 5 ideas that may guide your learning and assist you in recognizing this important day:
1. Read the Truth & Reconciliation Commission Report and the 94 Calls to Action
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada was constituted and created by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement agreement, and the Commission spent six years travelling across the country to hear the stories of survivors and their families. The Truth & Reconciliation Commission Report set out 94 Calls to Action to federal and provincial levels of government. Call to Action #80 was a request to the federal government to establish a public holiday in the spirit of truth & reconciliation. Read more about the 94 Calls to Action, and other reports here.
2. Visit the Woodland Cultural Centre
The Woodland Cultural Centre serves to preserve and promote Indigenous history, art, language and culture. The site includes:
- Interactive Museum and Gallery
- Indigenous Library and Language Resource Centre
- Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School historic site
- 5 acres of grounds and green spaces with outdoor exhibits
The centre, located in Brantford, is the site of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School.
3. Browse & interact on the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) website
The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Additionally, this link provides ideas on how each of us can individually be part of reconciliation efforts.
4. Actively listen and educate yourself
Educate yourself about residential schools through the many stories of survivors. Although there are common elements, each residential school survivor and each community has a unique story to share. Be compassionate and self-reflective as survivors and their communities grieve with the recent discoveries of several unmarked children’s’ burials – with likely more discoveries to come. Hear stories of the importance of preserving the evidence and stories from survivors here.
5. Involve your child
Kids Help Phone has some great ideas on how to involve your child in the truth & reconciliation process. To access these ideas and resources, visit the Kids Help Phone website.