An invitation from Stratford City Centre Business Improvement Area Board, Advocacy & Education Subcommittee, Staff,
Since 2013 September 30th has been acknowledged as Orange Shirt Day. A day to honour residential school survivors and their families.
This September 30th has been declared a federal statutory holiday, The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This was a recommendation first made in 2015 in the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
While the Province of Ontario has chosen to not recognize this day as a statutory holiday, we wish to encourage our municipal leaders, our Mayor, and City Council to consider what their response might be. Might this be opportunity for our city, this community to lead by example while others choose to be silent?
For our Stratford City Centre Board, and Advocacy and Education subcommittee the call is clear. We have chosen to observe this day as one to learn more about our collective history, support the Indigenous community here and across Turtle Island, that we call Canada, and take time for reflection. As such we will be closing our offices on this day and all staff will have the day off for reflection and learning.
The call in 2015 continues to be extended to this day.
We have opportunity to consider what we might choose for this day; individually and collectively.
Perhaps you already have plans in the making. If so, please share them on your Social Media channels and tag our SCCBIA or send us and email and we will take care of the rest doing our best to push out your response as we see them.
#DowntownStratford #EveryChildMatters #NationalTruthandReconciliationDay #OrangeShirtDay #TruthandReconciliationWeek2021
As we seek to be of support to you our membership and our community, here are some ideas we offer to our businesses, and our municipal leaders:
What might you do on National Truth and Reconciliation Day September 30th?
- Consider closing and participating in events in our area and the region.
- Spend the day in reflection and conversation with friends and family.
- Visit the Medicine Wheel Garden planted by Todd Torresan of the Haudenosaunee of the Oneida Nation alongside others at the Falstaff Family Centre.
- If you are open on this day, wear Orange T-shirts in support of the day (purchased from and made by Indigenous artists and businesses).
- Consider donating a portion of your day’s sales to an Indigenous organization locally in Ontario, or across Canada (Turtle Island).
- Learn about Orange Shirt Day youtu.be/E3vUqr01kAk
- Learn about and participate in the National Truth and Reconciliation Week, September 27- October 1, 2021.
- Read the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission nctr.ca
- If there is a walk, event that is planned near you consider closing for that hour, but pay staff for the time to take part
- Put out a jar for customers to add their donations
- Offer a discount if a customer is wearing an Orange Shirt purchased through an Indigenous organization or artist and then also donate 10% of that customers’ purchase
- Provide opportunity to incorporate education, discussion and learning about First Nations, Metis, and Inuit of Turtle Island for you and your staff.
- Purchase a book by an Indigenous writer from one of our local bookstores, or an Indigenous owned business online & share it among your staff team.
Whatever you choose, may we invite you to consider making your own personal signage explaining what you are doing on this day, and your why.
May we grow as a learning city, acknowledging that the path to reconciliation and anti-racism is ongoing and requires the commitment and best of us all.
SCC BIA Board, Advocacy & Education Subcommittee, & Staff