Truth & Reconciliation
photo credit: rdnewsNOW staff
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was established in 2008. Truth and Reconciliation is a process of healing relationships, sharing truths, listening to the knowledge that is being shared, and doing our part to redress past harms. It is taking the time to build and maintain mutually respectful relationships. Truth and Reconciliation is about learning the history and legacy of residential schools, and the many contributions Aboriginal peoples have made, and continue to make to Canadian society. Indigenous children in Canada were removed from their families for over 100 years and sent to institutions known as residential schools. The Red Deer Industrial School operated from 1893–1919, it was located 5 kilometres west of Red Deer.
Red Deer’s Reconciliation Journey
The City of Red Deer honours the culture, heritage, and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people that have been a part of this landscape long before colonial settlement occurred. We stand with the Indigenous community in remembering the past, and look forward to affirming our relationship and partnership in actioning our local commitment to Truth and Reconciliation.
We recognize with humility that the process of Truth and Reconciliation is one that takes time. We will learn from our mistakes and pursue a mutually respectful relationship. Acknowledging the land on which we live and the truth about the history is an important beginning to this relationship.
Do you have questions about Truth and Reconciliation?
A large part of Truth and Reconciliation is a commitment to respectful learning. Learning is a journey, it doesn’t happen overnight, and sometimes it’s hard to find a place to start. The following resources are provided for those seeking to learn more about Canada’s Indigenous history and our journey toward reconciliation.
- Urban Aboriginal Voices Society
- Red Deer Native Friendship Society
- Indian Residential School Crisis Line (24/7): 1-866-925-4419
- 211 Alberta: Dial 211
- Remembering the Children graphic (pdf)
- Reconciliation Canada Toolkits
- Native-Land map: Learn about Indigenous territories, treaties and languages in your area.
- Alberta Recreation & Parks Association: Indigenous Awareness & Engagement Toolkit
- Alberta Recreation & Parks Association: June is Recreation & Parks Month: National Indigenous History Month web pages
- Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples - A Holistic Approach: Toolkit for Inclusive Municipalities in Canada and Beyond
The City of Red Deer is located in an area with a rich history as a cultural meeting place. In an effort to celebrate this multicultural history and to provide an opportunity for Truth and Reconciliation, The City of Red Deer is sharing a series of conversations between local Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and Deirdre Ashenhurst, a Community Facilitator with Community Development.
- Conversation #1 with Elder Maggie Loney - topics of conversation include protocol, how to begin engaging with an Elder or Knowledge Keeper and hugs
- Conversation #2 with Métis Knowledge Keeper Raye St. Denys - topics of conversation include sashes, jigs and what it means to be Métis
- Finding David Lightning: The decades-long quest to locate an unmarked grave, MacLean's Magazine
- The Failure of the Red Deer Industrial School by Uta H. Fox, MA, CRM (pdf)
- Red Deer Industrial School Monument Unveiled (2017)
- Debunking the Myth’s - Peacekeepers Project - from Shining Mountains LCS
- How a tipi in the middle of Red Deer is furthering truth and reconciliation
- Red Deer International Powwow Raised Spirits and connected Peoples
- Community Spring Feast at Fort Normandeau to focus on healing from COVID loss
- Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day in Red Deer
- Remembering the children….
- First-annual Red Deer International Powwow will run next week at Westerner Park
- Red Deer museum wins international acclaim for original exhibit of powwow regalia
September 30 is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day. It is a day that we take time to learn, reflect and acknowledge our history of Residential Schools and the impact it has had on the survivors, families and communities. For more than 100 years, Indigenous children were taken from their homes and sent to Residential Schools; so many never made it back home. Today, we are turning our pages orange and encouraging our community to find ways to observe this day, whether it be through reflection, education or participation in an activity or event.
June 11, 2022, is officially proclaimed Remembering the Children Day. For more than a century, residential schools separated aboriginal children from their families and communities. Thousands of those children never returned home, and these actions have contributed to a legacy of trauma for First Nations, Métis, Inuit and non-indigenous people that requires healing, reconciliation and restoration. Today, and every day, we must remember the children.
The Orange Ribbon Campaign held in September is intended to engage Red Deer in community reconciliation efforts. Orange ribbons are a symbolic gesture to express solidarity with our indigenous community and act as an expression of grief for Canada and Red Deer’s residential school history.
Orange ribbons were blessed by a Knowledge Keeper and residents were encouraged to tie the ribbons to trees or plants in a place that is meaningful to them.