(Ottawa, September 30, 2021) On this first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) honours the Indigenous people who survived the residential school system, mourns those who were lost, and affirms its commitment to the restoration and renewal of Indigenous practices, languages, knowledge, and communities.
Many post-secondary institutions across the country are observing this day by canceling classes and suspending non-essential campus services. CAUT encourages academic staff associations and their members to consider how the work they do can lead to a deeper understanding of how Canada became the country it is today.
We recognize how much still needs to be done to achieve the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report. These include increased federal funding for Indigenous students seeking post-secondary education, bringing Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms, a national research program to advance understanding of reconciliation and the availability of degree and diploma programs in Indigenous languages.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation provides an occasion to take stock of how we are collectively advancing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada calls to action. We call on all provincial governments to officially recognize and commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a permanent statutory holiday.