September 30, 2021 marks the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. The day coincides with Orange Shirt Day, a grassroots commemoration marked by the wearing of Orange Shirts for children forced to leave their families and attend residential schools.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (or TRC) was active from 2008 to 2015 and documented the stories of survivors, families, and communities affected by residential schools. Established to assimilate Indigenous children into euro-Canadian culture and remove Indigenous identity, many well documented abuses took place. The report released at the conclusion of the TRC included 94 calls to action suggested by those most impacted in an effort to repair the harms caused by residential schools.
Today we offer you the opportunity to reflect on some of these calls to action as Christians who believe in a God that reconciles us to himself and one another. Let us live into the Action for Reconciliation statement that the Christian Reformed Church made at the TRC in 2015, stating in part: “We have been honoured to witness the expressions of truth in the TRC, and in them have seen a sacred momentum of reconciliation and hope. Because of this hope, and with the help of our Indigenous neighbours and Creator God, we are committed to turning from the systemic evils behind colonialism and living into a sacred call of unity and reconciliation.”
Set some time aside in the coming days to reflect!
This reflection is designed to take approximately an hour and we recommend that you take space to listen and reflect. You will be guided through three calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with prayer and reflection prompts. Engage in this podcast in a way that allows you to fully immerse yourself in this material: find time when you can walk in solitude and listen, or enjoy a beautiful drive while you reflect. Curl up in your favorite chair to draw and journal while you connect with this podcast.