2021 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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Thank you to everyone who participated in the online events on September 30. The recordings of the presentations can be found here.

AHS has been commemorating Orange Shirt Day on September 30 for many years, to recognize the history and truthful impacts of residential schools in Alberta. The Orange Shirt Day movement started in 2013 after a Residential School Survivor spoke about having the orange shirt her grandmother bought for her taken away on her first day of school when she was 6 years old. Read her story here.

Wearing an orange shirt symbolizes the harm done to residential school students and their families, and shows a commitment to the principle that every child matters. By acknowledging and understanding the truth of the past, we can take steps to move forward towards reconciliation.

This year Orange Shirt Day became the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We are more unified in our grief as we follow the ongoing recovery efforts taking place near the sites of former residential schools around the country and we are inviting all AHS staff, physicians, students and volunteers to take this opportunity to consider their own reconciliation journey.

*Please note: this page is moderated and any inappropriate or disrespectful content will be edited and/or removed.


Thank you to everyone who participated in the online events on September 30. The recordings of the presentations can be found here.

AHS has been commemorating Orange Shirt Day on September 30 for many years, to recognize the history and truthful impacts of residential schools in Alberta. The Orange Shirt Day movement started in 2013 after a Residential School Survivor spoke about having the orange shirt her grandmother bought for her taken away on her first day of school when she was 6 years old. Read her story here.

Wearing an orange shirt symbolizes the harm done to residential school students and their families, and shows a commitment to the principle that every child matters. By acknowledging and understanding the truth of the past, we can take steps to move forward towards reconciliation.

This year Orange Shirt Day became the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We are more unified in our grief as we follow the ongoing recovery efforts taking place near the sites of former residential schools around the country and we are inviting all AHS staff, physicians, students and volunteers to take this opportunity to consider their own reconciliation journey.

*Please note: this page is moderated and any inappropriate or disrespectful content will be edited and/or removed.

  • Thank you.

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    On behalf of the Indigenous Wellness Core (IWC), we would like to thank everyone for their participation in the first ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th, 2021.

    We were so grateful to see the record number of people joining us from inside and outside of our organization for the virtual events, which truly speaks to the progress we are making. The sessions were incredibly strong learning opportunities that perhaps triggered emotional responses for some, but they are important conversations that need to take place on our journey towards reconciliation.

    Thank you to the IWC events Working Group and all AHS staff who offered their support in creating an unforgettable day of education and awareness, for dedicating your time and ensuring all the virtual events ran smoothly.

    To all the presenters, thank you for graciously sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us so that we may learn what we need to do on this journey. We thank you for your time and truly appreciate your participation.

    And thank you to those who participated in the day’s events. We hope you continue to show your commitment to grow your understanding and knowledge about the truth of Indigenous experiences.

    Together, with care and compassion, we can work to improve access to top quality, culturally safe care for all Albertans.

  • How are you honouring Truth & Reconciliation?

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    We invite you to share a picture of how you are taking steps to grow your awareness and promote Truth & Reconciliation here.

  • AHS Presentations - National Day for Truth & Reconciliation

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    AHS has been commemorating Orange Shirt Day on Sept. 30 for many years as a way of recognizing the history and truthful impacts of residential schools in Alberta. This year Orange Shirt Day became the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

    Thursday, September 30 - Presentations

    Honouring and acknowledging the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
    MC: Marty Landrie, Executive Director, AHS Indigenous Wellness Core
    Opening Prayer and teachings from Elder Emil Durocher, remarks from AHS Leadership and teachings from the Indigenous Wellness Core.
    Elder and Survivor Kerrie Moore will be sharing her experiences from residential school.

    Watch the recorded presentation

    Land Acknowledgements
    Jamie Harmon, Indigenous Cultural Competency Education Team
    Inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Land Acknowledgements are a stepping-stone in the reconciliation process. This presentation provides a look at Land Acknowledgements through an Indigenous lens. We will talk about their significance, how to prepare one and the best way to present one. Some of the content may be emotionally triggering as we will be learning the truths of Indigenous history in Canada. These topics will include Indian Residential Schools, the 60’s Scoop, Indian Hospitals and how these historical events affected the Indigenous population.

    Watch the recorded presentation

    National Day of Truth & Reconciliation Teachings
    Elder Casey Eaglespeaker, Chair of the Wisdom Council

    Elder Casey shares his experiences in residential school that he attended from the age of 41/2.

    This is a very powerful presentation that may trigger an emotional response in many.
    Please reach out for support if you need to.
    The Hope For Wellness Helpline is available 24-hours a day at 1-855-242-3310.

    Watch the recorded presentation

    Allyship = Action
    Dr. Esther Tailfeathers Medical Director, AHS Indigenous Wellness Core
    Dr. Esther Tailfeathers will provide a picture of Indigenous health in the province, discuss systemic racism and how allies can help by working together to bring about change. You’ll learn what an ally is and what allies can do to contribute to anti-racism in Alberta.

    Watch the recorded presentation

    Reconciliation: Decolonizing Health Services
    Randal Bell, Senior Advisor – Indigenous Populations, AHS
    Through research and personal experience, Randal will present a linear sequence of trauma that brought us to the current state of the Indigenous health crisis. Randal speaks to the difference between equity and equality in health services and the critical need for individual and systemic change. Randal will conclude by presenting a pathway to decolonizing health service through trust, mutual understanding, partnership and respect.

    Watch the recorded presentation

    Conversation with filmmaker Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers
    Join us for a discussion with the filmmaker Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, to discuss her film, Kímmapiitssini – The Meaning of Empathy, which examines the change brought by community members with substance-use disorder, first responders and medical professionals as they strive for harm reduction in the Kainai First Nation. Watch the trailer here.

    Watch the recorded presentation


  • Exclusive screening: Kímmapiitssini – The Meaning of Empathy

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    This event is SOLD OUT! Thank you for your interest.

    This film will be released soon.
    To learn more about where the film may be playing near you, visit the National Film Board here.


    The National Film Board is pleased to present a exclusive screening of Kímmapiitssini – The Meaning of Empathy to AHS staff and volunteers as part of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

    The National Film Board is offering 300 virtual links for AHS Staff and Volunteers to view this film online between Sept 27-29. Space is limited to 300 links. AHS staff and volunteers are invited to register here.

    About the film:
    Elle–Máijá Tailfeathers’ film witnesses radical and profound change in her community. Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy is an intimate portrait of survival, love and the collective work of healing in the Kainai First Nation in Southern Alberta, a Blackfoot community facing the impacts of substance use and a drug-poisoning epidemic.

    Community members active in addiction and recovery, first responders and medical professionals implement harm reduction to save lives. This work is contextualized within the historical and contemporary impacts of settler colonialism; Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy draws a connecting line between the effects of colonial violence on Blackfoot land and people and the ongoing substance-use crisis.

    Held in love and hope for the future, Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy asks the audience to be a part of this remarkable change with the community.

    Learn more about the film and where it will be playing near you.