The Squamish Public Library has materials for all ages to learn about Indigenous history, including the Indian Residential School experience and the ongoing Truth & Reconciliation process. Below you will find suggested resources, both from the library and elsewhere.
September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The federal statutory holiday, established in 2021, honours those who survived residential schools, those whose lives were lost and those whose suffering and trauma is ongoing. Until now, September 30 has been known as Orange Shirt Day, a day for Canadians to raise awareness of the history, harm and legacies of the Canadian residential school system by wearing the colour orange.
This holiday was established in response to Call to Action 80 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:
“We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
In 2021, the library honoured the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, by listening to Squamish Nation Elders. You can watch the recording of Honouring Residential School Survivors online:
Namwayut – An Evening with Chief Robert Joseph (recording)
On April 12, 2023, we had the honor of hosting Chief Robert Joseph in Squamish to speak about his new book Namwayut: A Pathway to Reconciliation. Chief Joseph spoke about his experience at St. Michael’s Indian Residential School, his own immense work towards Reconciliation, and his vision for Canada and the world if we all take part in Reconciliation work. You can watch the recording of the event online:
In June, Canadians celebrate National Indigenous History Month to honour the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada. It is also an opportunity to recognize the strength of present-day Indigenous communities. (Source: rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca)
June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
Library Resources for Adults
First and second-hand accounts of legends and stories of First Nations (including Squamish Nation)
Resources that highlight national and local Indigenous-settler relations, both historic and contemporary. These resources explore key issues facing Indigenous peoples from an Indigenous perspective
Resources, history, and interviews related to the Squamish Nation and its members, customs, traditions, and history.
Library materials relating to the Residential School experience in Canada, including first person accounts from survivors, books for children, and the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
Library Resources for Children
Children’s books about First Nations stories and lives, including Squamish Nation and Coast Salish stories.
Children’s books about the Inuit people. Related lists: First Nations Picture Books; Squamish Nation and Coast Salish Children’s Books
Children’s books that reflect on the residential school experience in different ways. These have all been identified as age-appropriate for children under 12 by reputable organizations, like FNESC and Project of Heart. Adapted from CBC’s reading list.
Children’s books specifically about the Coast Salish and Squamish Nation peoples, including fiction and non-fiction.
First Peoples Map of BC
Explore and contribute to the interactive map of the Indigenous Languages, Arts and Heritage in B.C.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: 94 Calls to Action
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) published its final report detailing the experiences and impacts of the residential school systems. One outcome of the report was a document detailing 94 calls to action across a wide range of areas. Read more about what reconciliation is (and what it isn’t) in this blog post.
Indigenous Corporate Training
Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. (ICT) provides training to support their mission of Indigenous Peoples training for everyone. Their comprehensive resources include a list of free e-books.
Indigenous Canada Open Online Course
A 12-lesson free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Native Studies that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada.
Vancouver Public Library Indigenous Storyteller in Residence Kung Jaadee shares this list of top podcasts by Indigenous creators keeping the storytelling tradition alive.
Squamish Nation Stories from the Heart
This six-part Squamish Historical Society documentary opens a window on the Squamish Nation from the early 20th century to the present, through original video footage, archival and family photos and personal reminiscences.
First People of the Pacific Northwest: The Photography of Edward S. Curtis
This Squamish Historical Society video documentary is based on selected images of Indigenous People from the State of Washington, British Columbia, and the coast of Alaska, captured by frontier photographer Edward S. Curtis between 1896 and 1930, during his journey across North America.
An online Skwxwú7mesh language place name map tool.
Skwxwú7mesh Language Videos
Learn how to pronounce place names in Skwxwú7mesh. Ta na wa Ns7éyx̱nitm ta Snew̓iyálh – Language & Cultural Affairs have created a series of language videos on pronouncing place names along the Sea to Sky Highway as well as other words in Skwxwú7mesh.
How to Read the Squamish Language