Legal Aid Alberta has gone orange this week as one way to observe National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30.
Across the country, Canadians are using the day to learn about Indian Residential Schools and the continuing, intergenerational trauma suffered by survivors, their families, and their communities.
Watch: Legal Aid Alberta honours National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
LAA shows its support in different ways. One is by sharing our knowledge.
We encourage you to watch and share this one-hour LAA webinar, Indigenous people and the law: A guide to restorative justice and Indigenous Courts.
Featuring LAA lawyer Jessica Buffalo, Grace Auger (now a Provincial Court of Alberta Judge), and LAA Justice Navigator Stephen Shirt, this video explains the historic context leading to the establishment of Indigenous Courts and provides an overview of restorative justice.
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LAA also delivers an in-house Indigenous Awareness education that includes first-hand experiences with the legacy of residential schools, and historic and contemporary facts about the lasting impacts of this program.
LAA staff only: View the LAA Indigenous Awareness training video
True reconciliation requires time to learn and reflect. It can become a daily practice – we can find daily opportunities to focus on this dark history and its impact.
We strongly encourage all Canadians to commit time to understand and reflect on this deeply disturbing program, which is continuing to wreak havoc to this day.
In the spirit of supporting survivors, families and communities, here is a list of resources you can access to learn and understand the past and the present – and find ways to heal.
Native Counselling Services of Alberta is a treasure of resources. It has assembled a Truth and Reconciliation Resource Package for everyone, with materials that address the ongoing impact of residential schools, and useful tools for Indigenous people to understand and reclaim their identity. There is no charge for these resources, but donations can be made to support their production.
The NCSA BearPaw Media and Education website contains a rich collection of free media resources about the law, for Indigenous people.
Residential school survivor and former provincial court judge Eugene Creighton QC is delivering an online presentation entitled A survivor’s story: My journey from residential school to success. Register online now for this virtual event.
Another thorough resource is the free online course, Indigenous Canada. Offered by the University of Alberta Faculty of Native Studies, this 12-part course has been completed by thousands of people. It explores issues Indigenous people are facing today, in the context of their past – dating back to their first interactions with settlers.
Many small things add up to big things. You can find simple acts of reconciliation by visiting the Active History 150 Acts of Reconciliation list online.
If you need support with respect to residential schools in Canada, contact the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419.
Video and films: