For the Love of Libraries

This week’s column was written by Blair McFarlane, Community Outreach Programmer for the Invermere Public Library, which is located at 201 7th Avenue. Visit their website or call 250-342-6416 for more information.

September 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This became a national holiday in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action # 80. This is a day to honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis survivors of  residential schools, their families and communities, as well as honouring those who never returned home. 

While this is a statutory holiday, the Invermere Library will remain open on the 30th to help support learning and to encourage our community to hold the “truth” of this country’s history of residential schools and how that harmful legacy continues today. (We will be closed on Monday, Oct. 2 for the stat in lieu). With a variety of events taking place, there is a chance for all ages to come and learn alongside us. 

Events at the Invermere Library on September 30: 

• 10:30 am: Storytime featuring Indigenous books, including Phyllis Webstad’s story and how Sept. 30 became Orange Shirt Day. While not shying away from the topic at hand, it will be appropriate for our regular Storytime age group (3-5+). 

• 11 am: Special Every Child Matters communal craft with Tisha Tardif 

• 11:30 am: Intro to Secwepemctsin language led by Robyn and Tisha Tardif

We are incredibly grateful to have Robyn and Tisha Tardif, members of Kenpesq’t (Shuswap Band) and recent graduates of the Stselxméms r Secwépemc (Secwépemc Knowledge Institute) Secwépemc Language Proficiency Diploma Program, to teach us a few words of Secwepemctsin. This workshop will be for all ages, and we will learn a few basic words, including language for our local area/mountains/rivers etc. 

• 2 pm: Book discussion on Bob Joseph’s 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act 

In the afternoon, we are hosting a discussion that will follow the teachings in Bob Joseph’s 21 Things You May Not Know about the Indian Act. We have copies of the book available to borrow at the library. This is a great read that tackles the complex issues around the Indian Act in a digestible, easy to follow way. Everyone is welcome to join the discussion, and reading the book is not required. 

We hope to see you at the library on September 30 in your orange shirt if you have one. To see tangible reconciliation in action, we must be willing to learn about and hold the truth of Canada’s mistreatment of First Nation, Inuit and Métis Peoples. From there, we can work together to ensure everyone has the freedom and safety to honour their culture and foster strong communities.