Truth & Reconciliation

Truth & Reconciliation

September 19, 2022

September 30th marks the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day that coincides with Orange Shirt Day. It recognizes the tragic legacy of residential schools, missing children, the families left behind, and the survivors of these institutions. 

Amherstburg is participating in this journey of reconciliation. The reality of families and survivors of Canadian residential schools has left permanent scars on our communities and our nation. In an effort to understand and support the goal of reconciliation, the town is hosting a Truth and Reconciliation weekend on September 30th from 6pm-9pm and October 1st from 10am-6pm. Visitors and residents can learn more about Indigenous culture, watch demonstrations of drumming and storytelling, and shop at the booths of Indigenous vendors selling arts, crafts and gifts. 

The River Bookshop wants to contribute to this dialogue, so we have a number of initiatives planned: 

    ▪️ Tuesday, September 27th at 7pm. Our monthly Book Club, led by Cindy, will discuss Bob and Cynthia Joseph’s book Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips, & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality. This book builds on Joseph's 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act. We think Indigenous Relations is such an important read that we are offering a 25% discount if you purchase it in the shop or order online at until October 2nd. 

    ▪️Wednesday, September 28th at 6:30pm in the Hole in the Wall. We are delighted that our speaker will be Dr Bev Jacobs, Mohawk, Bear Clan, Lawyer, Professor of Law, Senior Advisor to the president of the University of Windsor. She practices law at her home community of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Dr Jacobs will be addressing issues that she thinks Canadians need to know about. She says, “most Canadians are not aware of the treaty history of Indigenous Peoples or are not aware of the violations of this treaty relationship. Nor are they aware of the genocide against Indigenous Peoples to try to erase them as people.” After discussing these issues, Dr Jacobs will end her presentation with a positive reflection on the resilience of Indigenous peoples.

    ▪️Bookshop staff will be dressed in orange t-shirts that reinforce that “Every Child Matters.” What is the backstory about wearing orange shirts? In 1973 when six-year-old Phyllis Webstad entered St. Joseph’s Mission residential school, she was wearing a brand new orange shirt for the first day of school. The missionaries quickly stripped her of her new shirt and replaced it with the school’s uniform. Her experience has become a powerful tool for awareness through Orange Shirt Day. 

In the shop we will also display a broad selection of titles from Indigenous authors

   ▪️ Hanging over our fireplace is a silkscreen on Stonehenge paper 12/400 by Indigenous artist Carl Beam, titled “Family,” 1996. In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Art Windsor Essex (AWE) is pleased to display this artwork in our store.

    ▪️The River Bookshop, Evelyn’s Candy House and White Woods Home will all be displaying cut-outs showing the 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They are calls to action, and guidelines for moving forward together in a spirit of reconciliation. The calls to action cover many sectors such as education, media, business and sports.  

    ▪️On Sunday, October 2nd at 1pm, our Story Time reader will be Kris Meloche, an Indigenous, treaty rights advocate and community youth worker. 

Indigenous peoples have lived here since time immemorial. They walked on these lands and cared for them well before us. They stepped up in the War of 1812 and 10,000 of Tecumseh’s Confederacy lost their lives helping save Canada. Yet today, there is very limited recognition of their important role in our community. It’s time to attend all the events, read the recommended titles and actively recognize this important cultural diversity. 

The River Bookshop Team 

Event Accessibility Notice:

The River Bookshop is a heritage building that was built in 1887.  The main floor was restored to be completely accessible. Our second floor, the Hole in the Wall event space (where our audio-visual technology is located), is not accessible. To make our events virtually accessible, we offer Zoom broadcasts of all our events. If you would like to have access to any of these broadcasts, simply email us at any time before the event and we will send you the link to view it.