All communities in the NWT can apply to the territorial government for funding to put on an event for the National Day for for Truth and Reconciliation, even retroactively.
An announcement was made by GNWT officials on Sept. 22. In the same announcement, the GNWT said it has released feedback on its public engagement on how the new national holiday should be observed in the North.
“This initiative provides special, application-based grant funding up to $2,500 to support Indigenous governments and Indigenous organizations and communities to plan and deliver National Day for Truth and Reconciliation events in locations across the Northwest Territories,” said GNWT public affairs manager Todd Sasaki. “Applications for funding will be accepted until Oct. 31.
Online feedback strongly supported using the occasion to educate people about the crimes against humanity that occurred through colonization and the residential school system, both through schools and public engagements. Healing through community engagement was another strong theme in feedback received, emphasizing strong programming for children, making use of Elders and knowledge-keepers as well as establishing permanent monuments and gathering places for healing. In total, 16 people completed the GNWT’s survey.
Greater and committed supports for residential school survivors to strengthen family bonds was also important. In the GNWT’s report, it noted many Elders pointed out that “healing is a year-round commitment, not just one day a year” and called for more opportunities for addictions treatment and mental health support.
Direct feedback from Indigenous governments and Indigenous organizations was also sought through existing forums, such as the Council of Leaders, and additional assistance and support for Elders who wished to participate.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, is Sept. 30. Applications for funding can be submitted up to Oct. 31 if costs need to be recovered.
Funding is available to any Indigenous or Inuit government or organization. Cost estimates are required, however applicants will not need to provide financial reporting after the money is received.