NSFL Statement on Truth and Reconciliation Day

September 29, 2023

September 30th marks Truth and Reconciliation Day dedicated to reflecting on the painful legacy of Indian Residential Schools and the ongoing journey toward healing and reconciliation. As the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, we strongly believe that this day holds immense significance for all Nova Scotians, and it is crucial for us to understand and educate ourselves about Truth and Reconciliation.

The history of residential schools in Canada is a dark chapter that cannot be ignored or forgotten. For over a century, Indigenous children were forcibly taken from their families and communities stripped of their language, culture, and identity. The devastating impact of this assimilation policy continues to reverberate through generations, leaving a lasting trauma that must be acknowledged and addressed.

Truth and Reconciliation Day allows us to confront this painful history and work toward healing and reconciliation. It is a time for us to listen to survivors’ stories and experiences, bear witness to their pain, and commit ourselves to building a more inclusive and just society.

Education plays a fundamental role in this process. We must take the time to educate ourselves about the history and ongoing impacts of residential schools and the broader issues faced by Indigenous communities. Understanding the systemic injustices Indigenous peoples face is crucial to dismantling the barriers they continue to face and fostering a culture of respect and equality.

Educating ourselves can challenge the persistent stereotypes and misconceptions and find ways to engage in reconciliation efforts actively. Our collective responsibility is to support and uplift Indigenous voices, amplify their stories, and advocate for the changes necessary to address the injustices they face.

Furthermore, as a labour federation, we recognize the importance of solidarity and allyship. We must stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities, supporting their calls for justice and amplifying their demands for meaningful change. By working together, we can create a society where Indigenous rights are respected, cultural diversity is celebrated, and all individuals have equal opportunities to thrive.

This Truth and Reconciliation Day, let us unite as Nova Scotians to honour the survivors and remember those who did not survive the horrors of Indian Residential Schools. Let us commit ourselves to learning, understanding, and taking action. By doing so, we can contribute to the process of healing and reconciliation and strive towards a future where justice, understanding, and equality prevail.

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