In alignment with legislation passed by the Government of Canada, the Rural Development Network stands behind the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th. The RDN office will be closed during this day, and staff will receive the day off.
In recognition of the long road ahead to achieve meaningful reconciliation, RDN staff are encouraged to read, review, and share learnings and resources on Indigenous histories and Indigenous voices. RDN is asking staff, partners, and members to take this time to reflect and contemplate the ways in which the ongoing legacy of colonialism and residential schools affect the work we do in this social services space.
“Reconciliation is a multifaceted word that means something different to everyone. For Indigenous People, we can't have reconciliation without having been ‘conciled’ in the first place. I think the idea and the actions are more important than the words.” says Elder, Elieen Black from Siksika Nation, “It is my wish that people will use this day as a means of taking action towards mutual forgiveness rather than just another holiday. By taking action together, we will move forward to a prosperous future.”
"We believe that non-Indigenous peoples in Canada must work hard to build trust, and establish and maintain a mutually respectful relationship with Indigenous peoples.” says Dee Ann Benard, Executive Director for RDN, “Our organization is committed to following the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, and to joining with Indigenous peoples to build positive relationships and find a path forward together."
How RDN plans to commemorate this day:
This day affirms our commitment to stand behind Residential School survivors and their communities’ efforts to heal from the effects of this displacement. RDN will continue to centre the voices of Indigenous leaders, organizations, and individuals, not only on this day but in the days, weeks, and years to come.
For more information on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, please visit https://nctr.ca/education/trw/general-public-schedule/