Author’s notes: I’m taking a moment here to note that today, September 30, 2021, is a very special day for us in Canada. It’s the first ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation! This came out of a lot of work that was done, and is still being done, to address historical and current atrocities and injustices against Indigenous Peoples. As an immigrant to Turtle Island (North America), I have a lot to learn, and below are a few links I’ve personally found powerful and helpful. Starting points.
Resources for National Truth and Reconciliation Day
- Government of Canada: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (for perspectives from members of Indigenous communities, see this article from today’s Toronto Star: “‘It’s history in the making’: Residential school survivors, community members reflect on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with hope, hesitation”)
- CBC: “Namwayut: we are all one. Truth and reconciliation in Canada“: ~4 min animation with voiceover – sharing by Chief Robert Joseph on his experiences in the residential schools. (2017 – warning: there is nothing explicit in the video but it may be emotionally challenging for some)
- TVO: “What is reconciliation? Indigenous educators have their say”: ~3 min to-the-point video of Indigenous experts on what it really means to reconcile after generations of systemic racism against Indigenous peoples. (2019)
- DestinationIndigenous: How to be an ally to Indigenous Peoples and communities: 10 slides
I also reflect on the fact that these issues aren’t unique to Canada. These stories have echoes all over the world. I was born in Taiwan, where there are 16 officially recognized – and many more unrecognized – Indigenous tribes. (If you ever have the chance to visit Taiwan, I highly recommend spending time at the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines!)
Now Recharging reflects a lot of my beliefs and hopes for a kind and beautiful world, and I firmly believe that understanding and respect for other cultures is a huge part of achieving more kindness and beauty in our actual world. And beyond understanding and respect, there is very real work to be done to alleviate so much harm and suffering. At the very least, to support and help amplify the important work being done by people who have dedicated so much of their lives to make things better.
I hope today, and every day, offers all of us chances to learn and take positive action, wherever we are on this planet.
♥ Maiji (September 30, 2021)