September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation each year. The day honours the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities.
The contributions of Indigenous people in Canada can be celebrated in many different ways. Here are several ways to appreciate and respect Indigenous culture from modern music and museums to literature as we remember the meaning behind the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Listen to music: Listen to music by Indigenous artists at home or while travelling. This is one way for individuals to connect with their own cultures, or for those outside of them to enjoy these creative works. Musician Tom Jackson, who is Métis, entertained audiences across Canada at festivals and coffee houses in the 1960s and 1970s and used his music as a platform for social activism.
Learn and grow: Visit a nearby museum or take a virtual tour of museums devoted to Indigenous culture. The Canadian Museum of History offers a First Peoples Hall that celebrates the creativity and endurance of Indigenous people through displays of thousands of historical and contemporary objects.
Read a book: Delve into the pages of a book written by an Indigenous author. Tom Highway is Cree and worked as a social worker in Indigenous communities. He began his writing career as a playwright, but also authored novels, children’s books and songs. His works speak bluntly about the tragedies endured by Indigenous peoples.
Purchase handmade decor: Many Indigenous artists make livings selling their wares. These pieces can bring beauty and touches of culture to homes and workplaces.
Dine on good food: Seek out Indigenous restaurants to enjoy new cuisine. Bison long has been a significant resource for Indigenous peoples in northern Canada. Enjoying bison burgers or a hearty bison stew can be a treat. Also try bannock, a biscuit-type bread that is a speciality of Indigenous cooks throughout North America.