Jewish Solidarity with Indigenous People on the National Day for Truth And Reconciliation and Beyond

On this second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) recognizes this day’s vital importance as a moment of remembrance and reckoning throughout Canada. We honour the monumental work undertaken by Residential School survivors and their families to bring this day to national attention.

As Jews engaged in justice work, many of us having direct family experiences of living through genocide, we stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples in their struggles against colonialism and genocide in Canada. And while these genocides may be different, they should fuel our solidarity.

We are in the midst of yamim noraim (days of awe) – the holiest days of the Jewish calendar and a time set aside for remembrance and repair. This is an especially meaningful time for our communities to engage with the work of truth and reconciliation.

We urge our membership and supporters to participate in Orange Shirt Day and to attend commemoration services near you to remember the horrific truth of the Residential School system in Canada and its attempt by design to destroy Indigenous communities and nations.  Each of us can individually and collectively engage with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and identify tangible ways to support their realization in our areas of work. We also encourage people to support and engage with grassroots anti-colonial resistance practices to protect land, water and communities. 

As an organization whose main thematic work areas include solidarity with Palestinians and solidarity with Indigenous people in Turtle Island, we strive to deepen our decolonization work in both contexts. In our recent annual general meeting, academic and organizer Shiri Pasternak provided generative considerations for how to undertake this work in the year ahead. 

The fight for justice for survivors, their families and communities continues. IJV is committed to standing with Indigenous people in this fight.