Truth & Reconciliation
Central Alberta is a significant historical landscape of the ancestral territories of the Cree, Blackfoot and Métis people. It was a place to meet in peace and trade, hold ceremonies and co-exist. It was an area that marked the crossing of the province from North to South, as well as a place for traders to venture into the mountains in the West, with East of Red Deer marking the largest Métis Settlement West of Red River.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was established in 2008. Truth and Reconciliation is a process of healing relationships, sharing truths, listening to the knowledge that is being shared, and doing our part to redress past harms. It is taking the time to build and maintain mutually respectful relationships. Truth and Reconciliation is about learning the history and legacy of residential schools, and the many contributions Aboriginal peoples have made, and continue to make to Canadian society. Indigenous children in Canada were removed from their families for over 100 years and sent to institutions known as residential schools. The Red Deer Industrial School operated from 1893–1919, it was located 5 kilometres west of Red Deer.
Red Deer’s Reconciliation Journey
The City of Red Deer honours the culture, heritage, and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people that have been a part of this landscape long before colonial settlement occurred. We stand with the Indigenous community in remembering the past, and look forward to affirming our relationship and partnership in actioning our local commitment to Truth and Reconciliation.
We recognize with humility that the process of Truth and Reconciliation is one that takes time. We will learn from our mistakes and pursue a mutually respectful relationship. Acknowledging the land on which we live and the truth about the history is an important beginning to this relationship.
Orange Ribbon Campaign
The Orange Ribbon Campaign is intended to engage Red Deer in community reconciliation efforts. Orange ribbons are a symbolic gesture to express solidarity with the Indigenous community and act as an expression of grief for Canada and Red Deer’s residential school history.
Everyone's Truth and Reconciliation journey will be different. Residents are invited pick up an orange ribbon and tie it to a tree or plant in a place that is meaningful to them.
Please be considerate when tying your ribbon to trees or other plant life to ensure the plant is not damaged or hindered by the ribbon in any way. If you choose to tie your ribbons in our public parks, please ensure they are not left on the ground or in our waterways.
Orange ribbons, which have been blessed by an Elder, can be picked up at the following locations:
- Collicutt Centre: 3031 30 Avenue
- G.H. Dawe Community Centre: 56 Holt Street
- Recreation Centre: 4501 47A Avenue
- City Hall: 4914 48 Avenue
- Intermediate School: 5205 48 Avenue
- Red Deer Native Friendship Centre: 4808 51 Avenue
- Shining Mountains Community Services: 4925 46 Street
- Red Deer Polytechnic: The Gathering Place (Room 1009), 100 College Boulevard
Members of the community are invited to share photos of their tied ribbons on social media using #OrangeRibbonRD.
The following resources are provided for those seeking to learn more about Canada’s Indigenous history and our journey toward reconciliation.
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
- Government of Alberta’s Residential Schools Community Research Grant
- Urban Aboriginal Voices Society
- Red Deer Native Friendship Society
- Indian Residential School Crisis Line (24/7): 1-866-925-4419
- 211 Alberta: Dial 211
- The University of Alberta free, online Indigenous Canada course
- Remembering the Children graphic (pdf)