Truth and Reconciliation
Pickering Public Library acknowledges the City of Pickering resides on land within the Treaty and traditional territory of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation and Williams Treaties signatories of the Mississauga and Chippewa Nations. Pickering is also home to many Indigenous persons and communities who represent other diverse, distinct, and autonomous Indigenous nations. This acknowledgement reminds us of our responsibilities to our relationships with the First Peoples of Canada, and to the ancestral lands on which we learn, share, work, and live.
This land acknowledgement was created in 2020 by the City of Pickering’s Cultural Advisory Committee in collaboration with Indigenous community members from across southern Ontario.
The Library recognizes in our work and approach that reconciliation and justice are not the same as achieving equity and Indigenous Peoples are not seeking equity but rather seeking to have their distinct Indigenous and Treaty Rights recognized and protected.
September 30th marks the annual observance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, which honours the lost children, survivors, families and communities affected by the residential school system across Canada.
In recognizing the many abuses inflicted upon over 150,000 children within residential schools, we are called upon to confront the legacy of colonialism, systemic oppression and intergenerational trauma endured by Indigenous communities across Turtle Island today. These are certainly difficult truths to address, but necessary to pursue and sustain meaningful efforts in reconciliation.
The Pickering Central Library will be open on September 30 to support the community's learning and reflection. Please note Claremont and George Ashe will be closed.
Learning and Community Resources
City of Pickering Initiatives and Community Events
Reflect and Take Action
In 2020, the City of Pickering adopted a multi-year Indigenous Relationship Building Action plan that focuses on establishing meaningful and intentional relationships with diverse Indigenous communities. This led to the formation of the Indigenous Relationship Building Circle (IRBC) as a local network of Indigenous residents, Indigenous-led organizations and allies that come together to provide guidance and leadership on communities initiatives that honour the contributions, history and cultures of First Nations, Metis and Inuit Peoples.
Members of the IRBC currently include representation from the Indigenous Learning Circle, Oshawa Durham Region Metis Council, Bawaajigewan Aboriginal Community Circle, Carea Community Health Centre, Durham District School Board, Durham College, Ontario Tech University and PFLAG Durham Region. The IRBC is still in its formative stages and welcomes Indigenous community members and allies to join future gatherings.
For more information about current events and initiatives, please visit pickering.ca/irbc, opens a new window.
Let's Talk Pickering: Children of the Residential School System
This digital story space invites the community to leave words of condolence, support, personal anecdotes, photos, or any information, knowledge or resources that may be helpful to those impacted by the on-going reported discoveries of children's remains at Canadian residential school sites. To view the conversation or to join in, visit: letstalkpickering.ca/children-of-residential-school-system, opens a new window
Tracey-Mae Chambers: #hopeandhealingcanada at Pickering Museum Village
In 2022, Tracey-Mae Chambers, Métis artist and a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario, installed #hopeandhealingcanada at the Pickering Museum Village, Puterbaugh Schoolhouse. To hear more about this installation, click here for a video or view the video below.
External Learning Tools
First Nations Child & Family Caring Society: Indigenous Knowledge Portal
The Indigenous Knowledge Portal (IKP) offers 'a searchable database and related links that provides access to a variety of annotated literature reviews, reports, guides, films, booklets, studies, journal articles and presentations all related to Aboriginal children and families in Canada and similar countries. The Caring Society follows OCAP principles and provides open access to all the documents included'. To browse the content, visit: fncaringsociety.com/ikp, opens a new window.
Specific to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 Calls to Action, the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society published the 'Spirit Bear's Guide to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action' document. Per the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society, 'this booklet is written by Spirit Bear as a youth-guide to the TRC’s 94 Calls to Action'. To view or download a copy, click here, opens a new window.
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN)
In November 2021, the City of Pickering, Rotary Club of Pickering, Honouring Indigenous Peoples, and the Pickering Public Library collaborated to host a virtual community screening of Aboriginal Peoples Television Network's "First Contact" series followed by an intimate panel discussion with Indigenous Elders, Alice Williams and Anne Taylor. To access and view the entire First Contact series, visit aptn.ca/firstcontact/, opens a new window.
The First Contact series, produced by Winnipeg-based Animiki See Digital Productions, Nüman Films, and Indios Productions, takes six Canadians, all with strong opinions about Indigenous people, on a unique and compelling 28-day exploration of Indigenous Canada. It is a journey that will turn their lives upside down, challenge their perceptions, and confront their prejudices about a world they never imagined they would see. This exploration will change the participants’ lives forever, and will undoubtedly add to the national conversation on Indigenous issues and reconciliation.
Indigenous Authors on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Award-winning children’s authors David A. Robertson, opens a new window (The Barren Grounds, opens a new window, On the Trapline, opens a new window), Melanie Florence, opens a new window (Stolen Words, opens a new window, Just Lucky, opens a new window), and Jay Odjick, opens a new window (illustrator of Blackflies, opens a new window and Bear for Breakfast, opens a new window, written by Robert Munsch) collaborated with public libraries in Durham and York region for this special prerecorded library presentation, which premiered on September 30, 2021.
Durham Indigenous Voices Series
Durham Region public libraries, Durham College, Ontario Tech University, DCSI, OTSU, Durham College/Ontario Tech Library, and the Region of Durham hosted a collaborative four-part panel discussion with Indigenous peoples and First Nations from the Durham Region. Below are recordings of the panels.