Athletics & Recreation observes National Day for Truth & Reconciliation

A&R staff wore orange shirts, held moment of silence, and encouraged conversations within varsity teams and clubs on Sept. 30.

Athletics and Recreation engaged in multiple initiatives to recognize Canada's first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Journal file photo

Athletics and Recreation (A&R) observed the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation with the rest of the Queen’s community on Sept. 30.   

Sept. 30 marked Canada’s first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation—a day to commemorate all those who were subjected to the residential school system in Canada and acknowledge the persistent effects the system has left on survivors and Indigenous communities to this day.

In a statement to The Journal, A&R outlined what they did to mark the occasion.

“Queen's Athletics and Recreation (A&R) is proud to join the Queen's community in recognizing National Truth and Reconciliation Day [sic] on campus,” they wrote.

“To mark National Truth and Reconciliation Day [sic], the Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC) will observe the moment of silence on campus at 2:15 p.m. and prompt those within the facility to pause and reflect on the legacy of Indigenous residential schools in Canada.”

A&R also helped individuals take part in a sacred fire gathering on Agnes Benidickson Field. The intimate gathering sought to re-affirm the university’s commitment towards reconciliation, and included public remarks by Queen’s Elders-in-Residence and senior university leaders in attendance.

“The ARC's information screens broadcast[ed] the sacred fire gathering taking place on Agnes Benidickson Field, in addition to sharing the link on our social media and digital platforms for those who [weren’t] within the facility.” 

A&R staff wore orange shirts to support the notion of Indigenous community across Canada and asked those coming to the ARC to do the same.

Commemorative decals were also distributed in the building, and those who picked one up were asked to sign the Office of Indigenous Initiative’s online commitment as an important first step towards reconciliation.

A&R encouraged coaches and student-athletes within varsity teams and clubs to wear orange to practice and take a moment to discuss the importance of the date with their teams. Several resources were also extended to the Queen’s athletics community.

“Coaches, student-athletes, and A&R staff […] received resources provided by the Office of Indigenous Initiatives to further their education, understanding and awareness of Indigenous history and issues.”

A&R ended their statement by sharing their commitment towards reconciliation along with the rest of the Queen’s community.

“A&R believes the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an important opportunity for reflection across Canada and joins the broader Queen’s community in being wholly committed to building equitable relationships based on trust and respect that will lead us towards reconciliation.”

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