September 30th marks National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day dedicated to honouring the lost children and survivors of residential schools and their families and communities.
At Interac, our offices are closed today and we are encouraging our employees to focus their efforts on reflection and education. We are also making a corporate donation to a not-for-profit organization that supports truth & reconciliation and the Every Child Matters movement.
Today also marks Orange Shirt Day, a day that originates from the story of Phyllis Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. In 1973, on her first day at St. Joseph’s Residential School in Williams Lake, BC, Phyllis’s new orange shirt was taken from her, leading her to feel invisible. Forty years later, on September 30th, 2013, Phyllis spoke publicly for the first time about her experience, and thus began the Orange Shirt Day movement. The Orange Shirt Society also helped us source orange shirts for each Interac employee so we could all help raise awareness of the tragic legacy of residential schools and show our support to the Indigenous community and the Every Child Matters movement. You can learn more about the Orange Shirt Society here.
At Interac, we understand that education is the first step to reconciliation. Our Human Resources and D&I teams have been hosting learning sessions with the Indigenous Friends Association and have made learning materials available to our employees to deepen their understanding of Indigenous history and the lasting impacts of the residential school system in Canada.
Interac is committed to prioritizing diversity & inclusion and ensuring we do our part to better our communities. We also understand that reconciliation and honouring Indigenous peoples doesn’t stop after one holiday, and so we are committed to continuing this work moving forward.