News & Events

National Day For Truth and Reconciliation

Posted October 13, 2022 by

Dear Musicians,

September 30, marks Canada’s first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) recommended that the Canadian government establish a statutory holiday so that Canadians may never forget the history and ongoing legacy of the Indian Residential School System (IRRS).

Since the finding of the remains of 215 children buried on the grounds of the former Kamloops Residential School, a school built on the traditional territory of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, more unmarked graves have been uncovered in Canada. This ongoing trauma for First Nations, Indigenous, Inuit and Métis peoples who have suffered under European colonization is unbearable. We acknowledge that we must educate ourselves about the ongoing impacts of colonization and genocide on Indigenous peoples. We must work together to end systemic racism by engaging in a meaningful process of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.


It is in this context that the VMA Board has actioned the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Committee. It is our sincere hope that this committee advise on how best we Vancouver Musicians’ Association can build a framework of reconciliation in our music community.  We are seeking the participation of our First Nation, Métis and Inuit members in actioning the committee. The meetings will be held by Zoom. If you would like to be a member, or recommend someone to the advisory group please email dusty@vma145.ca

Below is a list of resources or actions that you may find useful for your personal reflection and learning on September 30.

Wear orange. Read Phyllis Webstad's Story Behind Orange Shirt Day

Donate! The Indian Residential School Survivors Society  (IRSSS) is a provincial organization with a twenty-year history of providing services to Indian Residential School Survivors. They strive to provide physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual growth, development, and healing through culturally-based values and guiding principles for Survivors, Families, and Communities.

Watch Squamish Stories with Kung Jaadee Sept. 30, 2021, 8:00 am.

Watch Suffer the Little Children Sept. 30, 7:00 pm. Tamara Starblanket on genocide, Indigenous Nations and the Canadian State (with Ketty Nivyabandi, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada)

Take the Indigenous Canada Online University of Alberta Course. 
Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations.

Tk'emlúps Nation extends an invitation to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action here

Read the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples here

For more events and actions, see the BC Federation of Labour events page


We acknowledge our office is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded Coast Salish Territory of the Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh First Nations