Earlier this year, the Government of Canada passed legislation to make September 30 a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Though it is not mandated by our provincial government, the National accessArts Centre – as Canada’s national voice and leader in our disability arts movement – will respect the intent of this particular day and will therefore close on September 30, 2021. We will reopen our doors on October 1, 2021.
Our country continues to grapple with the horrific crimes committed against Indigenous peoples, and this has been further magnified by the ongoing discovery of unmarked graves at residential schools. Despite all this, the words “truth” and “reconciliation” are merely just that – words.
We can – and must – do our part, and we encourage our staff, volunteers, artists, and supporters to take the time on September 30 to reflect on what that means for each of us. From reading about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action to hearing firsthand accounts of the crimes committed in the residential school system, there are an infinite number of ways we all can reflect and choose to act – all while respecting the important fact that Indigenous peoples need space and respect for how they choose to move forward, and to acknowledge that some important work towards healing is already underway.