Beyond Orange Shirt Day: Five ways to continue your learning and action on reconciliation

More than 150 U of T community members filled the Great Hall of Hart House for the Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation Commemoration event on September 29, with another 600 viewing the livestream. The event brought together people from across the University to reflect on the harms of Canada’s residential school system; honour the survivors and the children who did not return home; and consider how we can meaningfully engage with reconciliation at U of T.

As we look to carry the momentum of this day forward throughout the year, we encourage our community to continue their learning, self-reflection and action on reconciliation. Here are some next steps to consider.

  1. Watch the event

If you missed the 2023 Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth & Reconciliation Commemoration event, you can watch the recording online. You’ll hear colleagues from U of T Libraries reflect on their work in developing the Indian Residential School Survivors’ Storybase, an educational resource that amplifies the voices of Residential School Survivors.

  1. Attend a training session

Deepen your understanding of Indigenous histories, reconciliation and decolonization through training sessions offered by the Office of Indigenous Initiatives (OII). Upcoming sessions include “Reflecting on Indigenous Land Acknowledgements” on October 25 and “Reconciliation: Walking the Path of Indigenous Allyship” on November 22.

  1. Read (or re-read) the Calls to Action

Familiarize yourself with the 34 Calls to Action outlined in Answering the Call: Wecheehetowin, the Steering Committee for U of T’s Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

  1. Reflect on our shared progress

Learn about work being done across the University to address these Calls by reading the 2022 Indigenous Initiatives Annual Progress Report.

  1. Connect with the OII

If you have an idea or a question about how to advance reconciliation in your area of the University, contact the OII. This office exists to guide and support the implementation of the Calls to Action, to report on institutional progress, and to serve as a central resource for learning, consultations, and support to the U of T community.