Canada is marking the third National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, established to honour the intention of the 80th Call to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report “to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
Each year the RMG closes to the public and our staff team engages in collective and personal reflection and learning. Our Indigenous staff members determine how they want to spend the day. This year the team will come together on Monday, October 2 for that learning. On September 30, the RMG is closed.
There are more events and commemorations as each year passes to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We will continue to share links to our past blog posts in the hopes that these resources are useful to your journey of learning and unlearning. I remain grateful to our past team member Samuel Powless and to Erin Szikora (Associate Curator, Exhibitions) for putting them together for us all.
The City of Oshawa also has a webpage that you can explore. It includes the location of Orange Ribbon Memorials across the City and a local resource guide.
Continuing to support and advocate for the self-determination of Indigenous people and communities is part of our ongoing work, both internally and with community. As a settler, I understand my responsibility to understanding the truth and working towards reconciliation throughout the year. While these days and months are important, ensuring they are always part of the societal dialogue, our programming, and making our organizational systems and structures more equitable is paramount.
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is in the treaty lands of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. This land has been the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg since 1700; before that time, it was stewarded by various communities belonging to the Haudenosaunee and Wendat confederacies. It is covered under the Williams Treaties and the Dish with One Spoon Wampum.
This area continues to be home to many Indigenous people from across Mishiike Minisi. We recognize the sovereignty of all Indigenous nations and are grateful for the opportunity to learn, live, and work on this land.
We acknowledge that the RMG is in treaty land, and respect our collective responsibility to protect and nurture the land. We also recognize the continuing impacts of colonialism and our responsibilities to redress the ways this has helped shape our organization. We are committed to working to address structural inequities and to centering Indigenous voices in the gallery.