Thursday, September 30, 2021

94Quilt: Blocks 80 - 87

Today is Canada's first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. I waited one day to post my regular Wednesday 94 Quilt post for that reason. I am hopeful, so hopeful, that we have truly begun the journey to understanding our Indigenous hosts, (because this is their land) and repairing the centuries of wrongs we have inflicted upon them. Lots and lots of small steps have been taken, but many many more are needed to get to the stage where they are not the highest percentage of incarcerated men and women, they are not the highest percentage of children in foster care, no longer a major number of humans dealing with addiction, homelessness, mental illness... 
I continue to learn. Making this quilt while I read, reflect upon, and research each Call and its progress has been another step for me on my journey to truth and reconciliation. The truth. The truth is not pretty, and shying away from it, saying you can't handle it, you don't want to talk or read or hear about anymore of it because it's too upsetting is another act of white privilege. So I urge you to do the right thing: #dosomething @decolonizemyself @pam-palmater Any of those accounts or the hashtag will lead you to educating yourself. Education is the key to understanding our sister and brother humans.

I acknowledge that I am living on unceded territory of Anishinaabeg (Source: Canadian Encyclopedia) on the shore of erielhonan, (Iroquoian word meaning 'long tail') now called Lake Erie.

The post that explains my 94Quilt project is here.  Since July 1 I've been making a flying geese block a day as I read one of the 94 Calls to Action, its accompanying explanations and progress report, and links that go with each one.

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is the main website with a wealth of information.
Beyond 94 is the CBC-created site that is an ongoing report card monitoring how we are doing with the calls.


80. Establish a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday.
  • I did not plan this to be the first Call nor that our actual Truth and Reconciliation Day would be the day after I normally have been posting these posts. How very fitting. Higher forces at work.
  • In August 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Liberals were going to declare a federal statutory holiday and that the process was undeway.
  • A previous private member's bill had been passed in the House in March 2019, but had only passed first reading in the Senate when the 42nd Parliament ended.
  • Two dates had been considered: June 21, which is National Indigenous Peoples Day, and September 30, which is Orange Shirt Day. This day of remembrance was started in 2013 by residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad. Ry Moran, director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation said, "It's not just about creating another day off from work or from school. We have to remember and we can even borrow the phrase from Remembrance Day, 'Lest we forget.' If we forget what has happened in the past, just how low we can sink, we are at serious risk of recreating those same issues again in the future.”

81. Commission and install a Residential Schools National Monument in Ottawa.
In progress. Projects proposed.
  • In August 2021 the government pledged $20 million in new funding to build a monument.

82. Commission and install a Residential Schools Monument in each capital city.
In progress. Projects proposed.
  • No provincial or territorial government has commissioned a monument; however in Winnipeg and in Whitehorse, there has been one installed but not commissioned by the provincial or territorial government. In fact, the one in Winnipeg was a gift from a member of St. Paul's Anglican Church there.

 83. Canada Council for the Arts to establish a strategy for Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists to undertake collaborative projects.

84. Restore and increase funding to the CBC/Radio-Canada to enable it to support reconciliation.
  • There are three sub-calls to this Call regarding programming, hiring and more. Those of you who have read my blog for a while know how much I love Reclaimed, the CBC show that I'm actually listening to as I type this, on Wednesday evenings and repeated on Sunday afternoons, also available to stream anytime on their app CBC Listen. 
  • The Beyond 94 site has come about as part of this Call. 
  • There are several examples of podcasts (I mentioned Telling Our Twisted Histories previously) and radio programmes available across Canada, and more information about staffing and other events the CBC/Radio Canada has been involved in or hosted.
And the Conservatives would have killed this all, except for the Radio Canada part. Have I mentioned how very grateful I am that they did not get in.

85. Aboriginal Peoples Television Network to support reconciliation.
  • I mentioned their Lumi app last week. Fun fact: APTN produces more than 80% Canadian content, in English, French and anywhere between 15 to 23 Indigenous languages.
  • It celebrated its 20th anniversary this year!
  • A special 24-hour lineup is happening today (and also on CBC Music from 6 am to midnight).
  • There is so much information on all the good they have done and continue to do in Indigenous programming and reconciliation. Do you know they have an award that goes to a non-Indigenous journalist for "exemplary journalism that educates and informs Canadians about Indigenous experiences." This is because, as I have heard many times over the past year and a half, that the work of informing and educating should not fall onto the shoulders of only Indigenous peoples.

86. Journalism programs and media schools to require education for all students on the history of Aboriginal peoples.
In progress. Projects proposed.
  • Some journalism schools offer courses but not all are mandatory, and not all include the criteria cited within this Call.
  • There is detailed information about specific universities and schools who have done some work on this Call on Beyond 94.

87. Tell the stories of Aboriginal athletes in history.
In progress. Projects underway.
  • In August 2020, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame launched a digital book that explores the history and contribution of Indigenous athletes.
  • Several provincial sports halls of fame have recognized Indigenous athletes in various ways.

Sites, Articles, Books of Interest

We learned in Indigenous Canada, the MOOC that I took in summer 2020, about the importance of buying from reputable, authentic, Indigenous artists and makers. This article speaks to this: a talented artist has had her work stolen by a group who has done this repeatedly, who operates on FaceBook. Brady has learned about this in school and has reminded us of it on several occasions.

In this vein, here is one site I've mentioned before, and one I've just learned about:
@emilykewageshig She is the talented artist who redesigned the CBC logo. If you go to this CBC link, you will get the explanation behind each layer. I have a new appreciation for Indigenous art, (layers, symbolism, culture, teachings) again thanks to the Indigenous Canada MOOC.

I heard part of a story about pawpaw trees a couple of days ago on CBC. I thought they were African. Oh no. They are native to our southern Ontario Carolinian forest, and our Indigenous Peoples relied upon them for their wonderful fruit. Sadly, they have been pretty much wiped out thanks to the European colonizers who torched acres upon acres of rich forest here whether they intended to farm or not. According to the article, they wanted to change the climate: make this area less humid, have it warmer and drier so there would be less mosquitoes. In the article you can read about a forest restoration ecologist, Ben Porchuk, who is making his project (years long now) of bringing back the pawpaw tree part of reconciliation. Amazing. He works for Carolinian Canada. Um wow. Another fantastic charitable organization I've just learned about. I would hedge a bet that their header photo was taken at Point Pelee!

May you take time today, and often in your future days, to reflect upon the wrongs done, the lasting trauma, and what you can do as a descendant of European immigrants to make Turtle Island a more loving place, where all beings are equal and valued.


  1. A well written and very appropriate post for today!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with your readers. It has been much easier, at least for me, to understand these Calls a little bit at a time, not as overwhelming. I am reaping the benefits of all your research and am grateful.

  3. Thank you for sharing. I don't know if you see Tik Tok, there is a very big community of indiginous, US, Canadian, and Central American--Lance Tsosie is very vocal and he can sure trigger people with the word "colonizer". I think you put it so well though....recognizing the truth, and acknowledging goes a long way to healing.