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“There are no shortcuts. When it comes to reconciliation, we are forced to go the distance.” - Justice Murray Sinclair

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation - September 30National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will be observed for the first time on September 30th, 2021. This new federal statutory holiday coincides with Orange Shirt Day, a day set aside to remember the legacy of residential schools and honour all of the Indigenous children who were taken from their families, their communities and their culture.

Learning the truth and understanding the lasting impacts that the residential school system had on Indigenous communities is a commitment everyone needs to make. Today and every day, show solidarity with the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of this land by committing to knowing more and doing better. Everyone has a role to play.

In honour of this day, the Museum team is sharing a list of resources that have resonated with us and deeply impacted our personal understanding of Indigenous knowledge and heritage, residential schools and the generational impact of colonialization. Reconciliation is a long road and requires meaningful and concrete action. An important first step is a willingness to listen and to learn. Join us in our journey to learn more by sharing in the comments the resources you have discovered and found helpful in your own journey towards Reconciliation. 

Resource List

 To watch
How some children at the Kamloops residential school died
CBC News: The National (2021)
Trigger warning: this video contains details some viewers may find distressing. The information obtained came from survivors of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

Talking to Kids about Residential Schools
Monique Gray Smith (2021)
Indigenous - Canadian author offers suggestions of language to use when speaking to children about residential schools. Contained within the description of the video is also a list of children's books for suggested reading.

Stolen Children | Residential School survivors speak out
CBC News: The National (2015)
How Residential Schools affected survivors and their children and grandchildren.

My Auntie survived residential school. I need to gather her stories before she's gone | Inendi
CBC Docs (2020)
With a pandemic threatening to take our elders, Sarain Fox gathers stories from her auntie and matriarch, Mary Bell, who holds the family's history: the legacy, the trauma, the truth.

Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger
TVO Documentaries (2019)
Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin tells the story of Jordan River Anderson who spent all five years of his short life in hospital while the federal and Manitoba governments argued over who was responsible for his care. Jordan's Principle was passed into law in 2007 by the House of Commons to ensure that First Nations children would have equal access to government-funded service as the rest of the Canadian population. Lawyers and activists have continued to fight to ensure that Jordan's Principle is enforced by the federal government.

What are we conserving? Reflections on colonial practices in conservation
Canadian Association for Conservation of Cultural Property (CAC) (2021)
The CAC's (Re)conciliation Working Group produced a panel discussion via Zoom on May 26, 2021 featuring experiences and perspectives from Sean Young (Haida Gwaii Museums), Meranda Roberts (Field Museum), and John Moses (Canadian Conservation Institute) - moderated by Heidi Swierenga (Museum of Anthropology, UBC).
 To read

Online articles and resources

48 books by Indigenous writers to read to understand residential schools
CBC Books (2021)
A list of books about residential schools, written by indigenous writers, curated by Canadian author David A. Robertson. Robertson reflects on how little his grandmother had told him – and the rest of his family – about her experience attending Norway House Indian Residential School. “Stories have been, and always will be, the best way to educate ourselves about the truth.”

(Re)conciliation Working Group of the Canadian Association for the Conservation of Cultural Property
RWG - CAC|ACCR, n.d.
A website to learn what the field of conservation is doing in Canada in working towards reconciliation.

Land and Reconciliation
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (2017)
This article is a must read, very informative and written by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson who is a member of the Alderville First Nation. If you are looking for insight and understanding on Indigenous issues right here in the Kawartha Lakes, please give this one a read.

Truth and Reconciliation Week 2021
Canada's History (2021)
An educator’s guide designed to support educators in their own learning of residential schools and teaching. This resource was published by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, in collaboration with Canada's History Society.

Looking for Justice, Finding Betrayal
Eva Holland (June 2021)
When Brayden Bushby was charged with the death of Barbara Kentner, Indigenous faith in Canada's legal system was put to the test.

Kairos Blanket Exercise
Developed by KAIROS Canada
The Blanket Exercise is an interactive, educational program that teaches the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The program was created in response to the 1996 report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, and is used as a teaching tool across Canada.

Children's books

Written by Brittany Luby, illustrated by Michaela Goade (2019)
“A beautiful imagining of what might have happened in the year 1534 when, under the watchful eye of animals, two very different people unexpectedly meet.” A great book with stunning visuals to teach children that there is always a common ground and to weave indigenous perspectives in to Canadian history.”
Also available for purchase at the Peterborough Museum & Archives.
A read aloud of this story can be viewed on YouTube.

Written by Nicola I. Campbell, illustrated by Kim LaFave (2005)
Winner of the Anskohk Aboriginal Children's Book of the Year Award, this book tells the story of young Shi-shi-etko, who will have to leave her family in four days and “all that she knows to attend residential schools.”
A read aloud of this story can be viewed on YouTube.

Shin-chi’s Canoe
Written by Nicola I. Campbell, illustrated by Kim LaFave (2008)
A TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award winner, “this moving sequel to the award-winning Shi-shi-etko tells the story of two children's experience at residential school. Shi-shi-etko is about to return for her second year, but this time her six-year-old brother, Shin-chi, is going, too.”
A read aloud of this story can be viewed on YouTube.

On the Trapline
Written by David A. Robertson (2021)
A story that celebrates indigenous culture and “explores the deep connection a boy and his grandpa have with the land and each other.”
Also available to purchase at the Peterborough Museum & Archives.

We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know
Written by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frane Lessac (2021)
“It’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day Presentation Night at school. Twelve Native American kids from various tribes present historical and contemporary laws, policies, struggles, and victories in Native life, each ending with the refrain: We are still here!”
Also available to purchase at the Peterborough Museum & Archives.

When We Were Alone
Written by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Julie Flett (2016)
A young girl notices things about her grandmother that make her curious. As she asks questions, her grandmother shares her experiences in a residential school, when all of these things were taken away.
Also available to purchase at the Peterborough Museum & Archives.


Non-fiction books

Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg: This is Our Territory
Written by Doug Williams, edited by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (2018)
"In this deeply engaging oral history, Doug Williams, Anishinaabe elder, teacher and mentor to Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, recounts the history of the Michi Saagiig Nisnaabeg, tracing through personal and historical events, and presenting what manifests as a crucial historical document that confronts entrenched institutional narratives of the history of the region."

Highway of Tears
Written by Jessica McDiarmid (2020)
A searing and revelatory account of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls of Highway 16, and an indictment of the society that failed them. “For decades, Indigenous women and girls have gone missing or been found murdered along an isolated stretch of highway in northwestern British Columbia. The highway is known as the Highway of Tears, and it has come to symbolize a national crisis.”
Also available for purchase at the Peterborough Museum & Archives.

21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act
Written by Bob Joseph (2018)
“Since its creation in 1876, the Indian Act has shaped, controlled, and constrained the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Peoples, and is at the root of many enduring stereotypes. Joseph explains how Indigenous Peoples can step out from under the Indian Act and return to self-government, self-determination, and self-reliance - and why doing so would result in a better country for every Canadian. He dissects the complex issues around truth and reconciliation, and clearly demonstrates why learning about the Indian Act's cruel, enduring legacy is essential for the country to move toward true reconciliation.”

 To listen
Indigenous Fire Ecology (GOOD FIRE) with Amy Christianson
Ologies with Alie Ward on Spotify (2021)
A podcast episode of Ologies features Amy Christianson, an Indigenous fire scientist. It's a fascinating listen that covers First Nations fire practices, land stewardship, the climate crisis, cultural burns, and more.

Thunder Bay & Return to Thunder Bay
Podcast series hosted by Ryan McMahon on Acast (2018)
It might be the most dangerous city for Indigenous youth in the world. Host Ryan McMahon wants to know - not who killed all those kids, but what killed them.

Matriarch Movement
Podcast series hosted by Shayla Oulette Stonechild on Spotify (2021)
Interviews with Indigenous women, sharing issues Indigenous women face and challenging the mainstream narrative.

 To follow

On Instagram

@OnCanadaProject – an informative and direct IG account that disseminates the news and difficult subjects in way that speaks directly to Millennials & Gen Z.

@IndigenousMotherhood – in its own words found in the account bio “the ultimate weapon in destroying colonialism, through the tenderness, and wildness, of Indigenous truth and love”

@ShinaNova – Shina is a proud Inuk, throat singer and shares information about the Inuk culture

@Matriarch.Movement – bio on IG account states “podcast and non-profit amplifying Indigenous women’s voices through story, meditation, movement and medicine”

@Morning.Star.Designs – Haudenosaunee creator, Indigenous artist

@Nishtees – a Peterborough, screen printing/design biz. A great business to support and purchase your Orange Shirt from

@WhetungOjibwaCentre- Indigenous arts and crafts located in Curve Lake First Nation

@FacingHistory – this is an American account but tackles tough topics head on and challenges teachers and their students to stand up to hate

On Twitter

@mcooncome - Matthew Coon Come was the Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees for 20 years and served one term as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

@futurehistorytv - A documentary series on APTN about harnessing Indigenous knowledge and Indigenizing the future. Available to stream on CBC Gem.

@CreeCulture - Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute is Canada's award-winning Indigenous museum, cultural institution, and showcase of the history of James Bay. 

@GCIndigenous - Government of Canada programs and services for First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Learn about Indigenous peoples and communities.

@Nogojiwanong_FC - A non-profit culture & community-based organization providing programs and services to urban Aboriginal people in the City of Peterborough and surrounding areas. 

@JossOssim - Jocelyn Formsma is the Executive Director of the National Association of Friendship Centres, with over 100 facilities nationwide. 

@IndigArtStories - An arts and writing competition for Indigenous Youth - a project of Historica Canada.

@CurveLakeFN - Official Twitter handle for Curve Lake First Nation.

@FPHLTrent - First Peoples House of Learning (FPHL) is home of Indigenous cultural activities and campus initiatives at Trent University.

@HiawathaFN - Official Twitter handle for Hiawatha Frst Nation

@MétisNationON - The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) is the government of Métis people and communities in Ontario.

@MNC_tweets - The Métis National Council.

@MSIFN - Official Twitter handle for the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

@NWAC_CA - Native Women's Association of Canada.

@AFN_Updates - Assembly of First Nations.

@CBCIndigenous - The latest news and current affairs from Indigenous communities across Canada.

@KWICnews - Kawartha World Issues Centre - connecting people to global issues and local initiatives that can change how we understand the world and foster equitable, sustainable communities. 

On Facebook

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs - The Ministry working to ensure a better future for First Nations, Inuit & Métis people.

Relentless Indigenous Woman - Curated images and articles that inspire and ignite acts of social justice, feminism, empowerment, and decolonization.

Curve Lake First Nation - Home to the Mississauga's of the Great Anishinaabe Nation, located on a peninsula between Buckhorn and Chemong Lakes.

Hiawatha First Nation - The Mississaugi of Hiawatha First Nation - a vibrant, proud, independent, and healthy people balanced in the richness of culture and traditional way of life.

Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation - a progressive and growing First Nation located on the shores of Lake Scugog in Durham region, Ontario.

Wishing everyone a thoughtful September 30th. This Orange Shirt Day, and every day, we open our hearts to healing.


Peterborough Museum & Archives Staff 🧡