As the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation approaches on Thursday, Brandon University (BU) is welcoming all to gather, listen and learn about Indigenous culture and the harmful history of Canada’s residential schools.
Most campus services will be closed on Thursday, but BU encourages everyone to take time for reflection on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and to participate in community events. Thursday is also Orange Shirt Day, in commemoration of the moving story of residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad.
In addition to joining with community partners for a week of activities, BU is also hosting a number of learning opportunities and tools. The John E. Robbins Library at BU has assembled a collection of books and resources raising awareness about Canada’s residential school system. In addition to a physical display on campus, the library has put together an online collection of reading recommendations at LibGuides.BrandonU.ca/OrangeShirtDay. The library is also the home of the Indigenous Curriculum Collection, containing resources for Kindergarten to Grade-12 teachers. A new video tour of the Indigenous Curriculum Collection can be seen at https://bit.ly/3o7pdLE.
At Harvest Hall, historical photos from the Brandon Indian Residential School are on display, along with information about the Brandon Residential School Cemeteries Project.
The BU Centre for Aboriginal and Rural Education Studies has partnered with Brandon University’s Indigenous Peoples’ Centre to produce an issue of Research Connection focusing on the meaning people draw from Orange Shirt Day. The issue is posted at BrandonU.ca/Research-Connection.
These resources complement the recently launched regional Indigenization guide Pulling Together. A joint effort by BU, Assiniboine Community College, Campus Manitoba and community members and organizations, Pulling Together: Manitoba Foundations Guide (Brandon Edition) is an open education resource for those who wish to learn about Indigenous Peoples of the region and Canada’s colonial legacy. The guide can be viewed online at Pressbooks.OpenedMB.ca/PullingTogetherManitoba.
Brandon University will also be tempting taste buds with Indigenous-inspired meals this week. Food Services at BU has planned a special menu of dishes, which will be available all week at the Down Under dining space on the lower level of McMaster Hall. On Friday, the Indigenous Eats food truck will be at BU from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
BU’s Teaching House series of virtual gatherings was scheduled to hold a session on residential schools this week. However, Wednesday’s event has been postponed, with plans to reschedule it to be announced.
More information about this week’s activities at BU can be found at BrandonU.ca/Indigenous/Gatherings/Truth-Reconciliation. Details on community events are at BUAPC.ca/Truth-Reconciliation.