September 30 was the occasion of Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day to honour “the lost children and survivors of [Indian] residential schools, their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process”. This new national event falls on the same day as Orange Shirt Day, observed since 2013 on September 30 by Indigenous communities to remember children who did not return from residential schools and as well the struggles and resilience of those who survived.
I wrote a few five-line poems to honour the day. One follows:
in autumn chill
by sacred fires
the orange flicker of dreams
the eternal pulse of a drum