Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was held on September 30, 2021.
Alanis Obomsawin won the Glenn Gould Prize in 2020. This award is given “for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts”. The interview with Alanis (over 89 years old) was inspiring. She demonstrated very impressive skills to connect with people as well as honest truth telling.
#OrangeShirt Day Ideas
Videos to watch featuring Indigenous visual artists as well as books to read by Indigenous authors. You can also support local innovation by making an online purchase from an indigenous business or social enterprise.
Watch Kent Monkman talk about his work at the MET in NY NY by watching this video. The video describes the process in his Toronto studio as well as his inspiration for creating new work to hang in the great hall at the MET.
Watch a video walkthrough of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection’s Early Days Exhibit
Support Indigenous Organizations
Make a donation or purchase an item from the official Orange Shirt Day organization.
Visit, donate or shop online at the Woodland Cultural Centre.
Take a look at Toronto Public Library’s Indigenous Reading List
Read Globe and Mail writer and author Tanya Talaga’s article – Indigenous peoples must lead the effort to recover residential school children, where she says “This process of recovery must be Indigenous led. There is no other way.
After more than a century of government policies, such as the Indian Act, that were put in place to assimilate and destroy us, the federal government or any colonial entity cannot be put in charge of how this recovery process is going to look. Canada lost any semblance of having that place of honour in this sacred duty about 154 years ago.
Do not set up a “program” with say, $10-million or $27-million in it, and then ask Indigenous communities to apply for the funds after filling out detailed forms.
Government bureaucrats can be nowhere near this.”
John G. Hampton has made history as the first Indigenous person to run a major public gallery anywhere in Canada at the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, Canada. In this webinar, he outlined his curatorial approach. John also reflected on the recent discovery of graves at a former residential school close to his gallery.
Other Thoughts & Resources
City of Toronto’s Recommendations – activities to do
The Canadian government has recommended other ways to continue your learning journey.
While working as a public and virtual tours docent at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, I have been on a learning journey. This has involved unlearning what I was taught in school about Canada’s Indigenous Peoples. Norval Morrisseau, Faye Heavy Shield, Robert Houle, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, were all residential school survivors as well as talented visual artists whose work every Canadian should know more about. For more information on this viewpoint, take a look at my medium article here.