Truth and Reconciliation Week, Sept. 25-30, is an opportunity to reflect collectively on the injustices that occurred within Canada’s residential school system and to remember the children who attended these schools and never returned home.
As a place of higher learning, U of G continues to commit to educating and examining the truth of history while working toward reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The week is a time to deepen our understanding of the trauma that continues to affect the families and communities of survivors and to commit to acts of decolonization.
To mark the week, on Monday, Sept. 25, U of G will raise the Survivors’ Flag in front of the University Centre and at Champions Corner.
On the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, Saturday, Sept. 30, flags will be lowered and Johnston Hall will be lit in orange at night.
Orange shirts on sale
The shirt was designed by Kaitlin Gallant, an Indigenous graphic designer, illustrator and beadwork artist, and depicts a Forget-Me-Not flower surrounded by sage and sweetgrass.
the flower honours residential school survivors and the children who never returned home, sweetgrass braids remind us of our strength when we come together, and sage supports our healing.
From the sale of each shirt, $5 will be donated to the Survivor Secretariat, an organization that supports efforts to uncover and share the truth about what happened at the Mohawk Institute during its 140+ years of operation.
Ways to get involved on campus
Truth and Reconciliation Week 2023 Public Lunch and Learns
Monday, Sept. 25 – Friday, Sept. 29; Daily from 1:30-2:20 p.m.
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation will hold a series of virtual lunch-and-learn sessions throughout week to facilitate learning for Canadians on topics related to Truth and Reconciliation. These sessions will feature a range of speakers and will provide audience members with the opportunity to ask questions and engage in further conversations. Registration required.
Mawadisidiwag | They Visit Each Other
Tuesday, Sept. 26; 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | University Centre 430
This “tea and talk” session is an opportunity to share, explore and learn together. Participants are invited to bring forward topics and questions to ignite conversations. This session will be hosted by Dr. Cara Wehkamp, AVP (Indigenous Initiatives) and is open to all students, staff and faculty at U of G.
Drop-In Support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Students
Friday, Sept. 29; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. | Indigenous Student Centre
Join the Indigenous Student Centre community for support and a place to relax
Walk for Reconciliation
Friday, Sept. 30; 9:40 am | Art Gallery of Guelph Sculpture Park
Come together at Maada’oonidiwag and walk to Branion Plaza. The sculpture is located on the lawn north of the Art Gallery of Guelph building.
Individuals are encouraged to join us along the route crossing at College Avenue and Gordon Street, across Johnston Green, along the Library and down Winegard Walk to Branion Plaza to arrive for the reflections at 10 am.
Reflections on Truth and Reconciliation
Friday, September 29; 10-10:30 am | Branion Plaza
Gather with the campus community to honour survivors, the children who never returned home and their families and communities. Hear words of truth from the experiences of survivors and reflections on reconciliation.
Those unable to attend are encouraged to take a moment for personal reflection throughout their day.
Indigenous Advocacy Talk with Genievieve Borg
Friday, Sept. 29; 2 – 4 p.m. | Summerlee Science Complex, Room 1511
Join the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences’ National Truth and Reconciliation Day presentation and discussion with Genievieve Borg, Ph.D candidate, Department of Chemistry. Registration required.
Off campus events on Saturday, Sept. 30, National Day of Truth and Reconciliation
Orange Shirt Day Sacred Fire
Saturday, Sept.30; 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Royal City Park – Sacred Fire
Community firekeepers will light a sacred fire at the Royal City Park fire site on Water Street to honour missing children and survivors of residential schools and intergenerational trauma.
10:30-11:30 a.m. – All community members are invited to offer prayers to the Sacred Fire
12-1 p.m. – Indigenous community members are invited to gather with kin to share in hope and healing
Film Screening: The Nature of Healing
Saturday, Sept. 30; 1-3 p.m. | Guelph Civic Museum
The Nature of Healing is the spoken truth of seven Survivors of Mohawk Institute, Canada’s first and longest-running Indian residential school. From victim to survivor to activist, this is a story of resistance, resilience, and a healing path.
Support for Indigenous Students, Staff and Faculty
Indigenous Student Centre
Indigenous Student Advisor
Ally Stoett is available for First Nations, Inuit and Métis students. Book an appointment with Ally.
Drop In Support for Indigenous Students
Drop in on September 29 from 9 am – 4 pm at the Indigenous Student Centre in the Federal Building at 620 Gordon Street.
Student Counselling Services
Call 519-824-4120 ext. 53244 to book an appointment
Student Support Network
Find more information at wellness.uoguelph.ca/ssn
Call 1-866-925-5454 or text “UofG” to 686868
Call 1-844-437-3247 for crisis services
Keep.meSAFE for International Students
Connect at wellness.uoguelph.ca/keep.meSAFE
Employee and Family Assistance Program
National Indian Residential School Crisis Line
24-hour crisis support for Survivors and their families, call 1-866-925-4419
Hope for Wellness
For immediate emotional support for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, call 1-855-242-3310, or by online chat at hopeforwellness.ca