September 15, 2021

Winnipeg, Man. – The federal government has declared September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (NDT&R), a statutory holiday to pause and reflect on the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools. To welcome this day of remembrance, APTN will be offering a full day of programming to raise awareness about the significance and meaning of NDT&R.

Special coverage in honour of residential school survivors, their families and their communities will span from 6 a.m., Sept. 30, 2021, to 6 a.m., Oct. 1, 2021, on APTN. In addition, a specially curated collection titled “National Day for Truth and Reconciliation” will be available on APTN lumi, including but not limited to Sami Blood, Confronting the Past, Red Robe Women’s Drum Group and Namgis Pole Raising.

“Sept. 30, 2021 will mark the first federal statutory holiday in honour of residential school survivors and provides an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of residential schools and the lasting trauma they have left behind,” says APTN CEO Monika Ille. “Education is key to reconciliation, and we will continue to be supportive of Indigenous initiatives that encourage truth and reconciliation. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do those that continue to be affected.”

The statutory holiday will ensure that public commemoration of the tragic history of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process. By recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, all Canadians will be given the opportunity to reflect, learn, grieve and take collective action towards reconciliation. We mark this day as taking another important step forward as we walk along this shared path together.

APTN’s programming from September 30 – October 1 supports this discussion. The broadcast schedule for APTN, in order of appearance, is as follows:

1. APTN SUNRISE CEREMONY (September 30)

Greet the day with our latest production, APTN Sunrise Ceremony. This program will take audiences to various Indigenous communities across Turtle Island, where each community will gather to honour this important day with their traditions and culture.

APTN Sunrise Ceremony, honouring the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, was produced in partnership with the Government of Canada. This program marks the first federal statutory holiday in honour of residential school survivors.

2. WE CAN’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE TWICE (Also available on APTN lumi)

In 2007, a tense legal battle ensues when Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada is accused of discrimination. The Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations contended that the child and family welfare services provided to First Nations children on reserves and in the Yukon were underfunded and inferior to services offered to other Canadian children.

3. EVERY CHILD MATTERS (Also available on APTN lumi)

This documentary examines the path of reconciliation, guided by the voices of residential school survivors, Elders, Knowledge Keepers, artists and leaders from nations and cultures across the country.

4. RECONCILIATION AND ME (Also available on APTN lumi)

Sarain Fox leads a meaningful conversation on truth and reconciliation with five youth allies. Guided by real-life survivor stories, they reflect together to gain an understanding of reconciliation and the importance of relationships with Indigenous Peoples.

5. WE WERE CHILDREN (Also available on APTN lumi)

In this feature film, the profound impact of the Canadian government’s residential school system is conveyed through the eyes of two children who were forced to face hardships well beyond their years.

6. nîpawistamâsowin: WE WILL STAND UP (Also available on APTN lumi)

This film follows the family of the late Colten Boushie, a young Cree man fatally shot in a Saskatchewan farmyard, as they demand justice from Canada’s legal system.

7. MONKEY BEACH

A young Indigenous woman with supernatural abilities reflects on profound events in her life as she awaits news of her brother, who has gone missing at sea under questionable circumstances.

8. APTN NATIONAL NEWS

You can count on the APTN News team to bring you more comprehensive coverage of the stories that matter to you on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

9. INVESTIGATES: A TRAGIC LEGACY

In this APTN Investigates retrospective, reporter Kathleen Martens delves into the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history.

10. ENCORE: RECONCILIATION AND ME (Also available on APTN lumi)

11. LIVE: NATIONAL DAY FOR TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION BROADCAST

This special program produced by the NCTR (National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation) will air on CBC and APTN. Through this broadcast Canadians will have an opportunity to learn about the history between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. The program aims to increase awareness of the impacts of residential schools, the truth about the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous Peoples, and provide Canadian viewers with the opportunity to honour residential school survivors in ceremony.

12. INDIAN HORSE (Also available on APTN lumi)

In the late 1950s, eight-year-old Saul Indian Horse is sent to residential school, where he is denied his Ojibway language and culture. Saul finds salvation in a favourite winter pastime, hockey, but the real battle has only just begun.

13. ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF NOAH PIUGATTUK (Also available on APTN lumi)

In Kapuivik, North Baffin Island in 1961, Noah Piugattuk’s Inuit band lives and hunts by dog team, just as his ancestors did. When a white man known as Boss arrives at the camp, what appears to be a chance meeting soon opens up the prospect of momentous change.

14. ENCORE: INDIAN HORSE (Also available on APTN lumi)

15. ENCORE: WE WERE CHILDREN (Also available on APTN lumi)

16. ENCORE: APTN SUNRISE CEREMONY (October 1)

Greet the day with our latest production, APTN Sunrise Ceremony. This program will take audiences to various Indigenous communities across Turtle Island, where each community will gather to honour this important day with their traditions and culture.

Visit www.aptn.ca/ndtr/ for specific show times and more information.

 

BACKGROUND DETAILS:

WHAT IS NATIONAL DAY FOR TRUTH AND RECONCILATION?

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is designated as an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools. It was originally proposed in 2015 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, under which Action 80 called upon the federal government, in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, to establish a statutory holiday to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

NATIONAL DAY FOR TRUTH AND RECONCILATION EVOLVING FROM ORANGE SHIRT DAY, SIGNIFICANCE OF SEPTEMBER 30 DATE

Since 2013, September 30 has been observed as Orange Shirt Day, a movement to recognize the colonial history of residential schools and commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Orange Shirt Day recalls the experience of residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad, who at age six, was stripped of her brand-new orange shirt on her first day attending the St. Joseph Mission Residential School near Williams Lake, B.C.

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