The Mastercard Foundation and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30

The Mastercard Foundation affirms recognition of September 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, as a statutory holiday for our employees based in Canada. This is an important opportunity for everyone to broaden their understanding of the original peoples of this land and our shared history, including tragic chapters like the residential schools whose legacy is still with us. It is an opportunity to learn more about the work, findings and calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, why we need to mark a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and what we as individuals, communities, and as a Foundation can do to play an active role in reconciliation.

Of course, the work of reconciliation goes beyond a single day. Reconciliation is a process, it is work, it is a journey. Our EleV program aims to support Indigenous youth on their journey through education and on to meaningful livelihoods so they can take their rightful place as leaders of tomorrow and help build a better future for all of us. That requires learning the truth about our past to understand the present. Let’s listen to the voices of Indigenous youth, Elders, scholars, advocates, and Knowledge Keepers, and to commit to this ongoing work. It is in that spirit that we share with you some resources we are sharing with our colleagues at the Foundation.

Organizations Working Towards Reconciliation/Actions

There are several resources for those looking to act and contribute to the different organizations and societies working to advance  reconciliation. Some of these organizations are creating awareness of and support for  current action to address under-representation of Indigenous children in the child welfare  system. Examples of such organizations and initiatives are Makwa Creative Canadian RootsOne Day’s Pay and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, which has several initiatives underway to raise awareness of the under-representation of Indigenous children in the child welfare system and takes action to address this situation.

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) website has information on Indian Residential Schools, educational materials, and the Truth and Reconciliation Reports and Calls to Action. NCTR has three funds that you can donate to here. These are explained below.​​​​​​

  1. Na-mi-quai-ni-mak (“I remember them”) community support fund​​​​​​-The Na-mi-quai-ni-mak (“I remember them”) community support fund helps support small community-based projects that further healing and remembrance related to residential schools in Canada. These funds support Indigenous communities, Survivor Organizations, registered non-profits, and others with small grants for memorial activities. This supports the groundwork for more community driven events and activities to raise awareness and education on Indian Residential Schools and their lasting impacts.
  2. Truth and Reconciliation Week fund-Donations to the Truth and Reconciliation Week fund goes toward programming created by Indigenous storytellers for Grades 5-12 students in Canada.
  3. Imagine a Canada
    • The Imagine a Canada 2021-2022 program asks Canadian youth from K-G12 and CÉGEP to envision a Canada reconciled. Students who participate in the K-G5 stream are asked to submit an art piece, essay, or other representation which expresses their vision of a reconciled Canada.
    • Students in the G6-G12 and CÉGEP stream are asked to go one step further and submit a plan and budget for their vision that addresses reconciliation in their community or school.
    • Donations support students responsible for these projects will have the opportunity to participate in online leadership training exercises. Donations will also support students with selected projects from the G6-G12 and CÉGEP stream who will receive a micro-grant to turn their vision of a reconciled Canada into a reality.

List of Resources

  • Online Events

    Tk’emlups te Secepememc (Kamloops) the community where graves were first found in late May 2021 has invited the global community to join in drumming to mark the day on 30th September. To read more about this, click here.

    The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is hosting Truth and Reconciliation Week between September 27 and October 1, 2021. The programming includes a focus on Land and Treaties, Languages and Culture, Truth and Reconciliation, Orange Shirt Day, and Elder-Youth Knowledge Transfer. The programming will feature short videos created by Indigenous storytellers, followed by conversations with Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Survivors, and the children of Survivors of residential schools. Register and learn more here.

    On September 30, 2021, Western University is organizing an online lecture to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Cody Groat, Six Nations band member and Assistant Professor in Western’s Department of History and Indigenous Studies Program, will speak on the history of the Indian Residential Schools system. Professor Groat will tie the history of the schools into the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and engage in a discussion moderated by Christy Bressette, Vice-Provost & Associate Vice-President of Indigenous Initiatives. Register and learn more here.

    Nahanee Creative is launching five new on-demand mini-courses. The platform will be opened on September 30th for anyone who wants to learn more about Territorial Acknowledgments, Cultural Protocols, Empathy and Safety, Decolonizing Practices, Restoring Colonialism, and Decolonizing Identity 101.

    Calgary Foundation is hosting an online event entitled the Impacts of Intergeneration Trauma on September 28, 2021. The event is facilitated by Tim Fox, Calgary Foundation’s Vice-President Indigenous Relations & Equity Strategy, Impacts of Intergenerational Trauma is an online learning experience that explores how our shared history continues to have an impact on Indigenous peoples and provides suggested ways we can heal together from these impacts. Register and learn more here.

    For the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, APTN has developed a full day of programming for September 30th including a Sunrise Ceremony, documentaries and films, a prime-time special in honour of residential schools survivors co-produced by APTN and CBC, and other important content. Learn more here.

    The Downie Wenjack Fund is hosting a virtual conversation exploring what the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation means for reconciliation in Canada. The event will be available to the public on September 30th, 2021, and includes speakers Bob Watts, Harriet Visitor, Blair Cunningham, and Hillory Tenute. Learn more about the event here. The Downie Wenjack Fund has also compiled a list of important resources to support ongoing learning, the list is available here.

  • Free Online Courses

    Indigenous Canada  (University of Alberta) and Aboriginal Worldviews and Education (University of Toronto) are Massive Open Online Courses available on coursera that teach about the rich and diverse history of Canada, including the residential schools.

  • Podcasts

    Coffee with My Ma podcast is a 14-episode series of “around the kitchen table” conversations between actress Kaniehtiio Horn and her mother, Kahn-Tineta Horn. She tells her daughter stories of her very long adventurous life, always with the sense of humour that carried her through her eventful life.

    Still Here Still Healing by Jade Roberts is a podcast that brings awareness to the history and lasting impacts of residential schools as well as the ongoing impacts of colonization. Listen to stories from residential school survivors and learn from discussions with Indigenous youth about topics such as culture, language, identity, and community.

    2 Crees in a Pod unapologetically creates space for Indigenous resurgence. Their intention is to disrupt western colonial systems and honour Indigenous helping practices.

    “Spirit to Soar: Where We Come From” is a limited-run podcast companion to Tanya Talaga’s debut documentary “Spirit to Soar: Mashkawi-manidoo bimaadiziwin.” This four-part podcast is told first in Anishinaabemowin by Elder Sam Achneepineskum and then in English by Jolene Banning.

    7 Indigenous-themed podcastsThis Land  and Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo are some of the other great Indigenous Podcasts that talks about Indigenous History and ways of being.


  • Recommended Books

    In this urgent and incisive book, All Our Relations, bestselling and award-winning author Tanya Talaga explores the alarming rise of youth suicide in Indigenous communities in Canada and beyond.

    Rich with dark and light, pain and magic, The Inconvenient Indian distills the insights gleaned from Thomas King’s critical and personal meditation on what it means to be “Indian” in North America. From the Ashes  is a remarkable memoir about hope and resilience, and a revelatory look into the life of a Métis-Cree man who refused to give up.

    A Mind Spread Out on the Ground is a bold and profound meditation on trauma, legacy, oppression, and racism in North America from award-winning Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliott.

    Based on a viral article, 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act is the essential guide to understanding the legal document and its repercussions on generations of Indigenous Peoples, written by a leading cultural sensitivity trainer.

    Unsettling Canada is built on a unique collaboration between two First Nations leaders, Arthur Manuel, and Grand Chief Ron Derrickson.

    Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga is about systemic racism, education, the failure of the policing and justice systems, and Indigenous rights.

  • Films

    Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga is about systemic racism, education, the failure of the policing and justice systems, and Indigenous rights.