In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, the TTC has provided its frontline employees with an orange armband to honour the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities in the GTHA and across Canada.
Flags on TTC properties are also being lowered to half-mast today, to recognize all Indigenous children who were a part of this cultural genocide as well as those who were murdered, Survivors of residential schools, and their families.
"I want to thank the TTC team and employees for this initiative," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson. "The tragic history of the residential school system continues to impact our First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities. It is by remembering, educating ourselves, and honouring the lives lost that we can begin to make amends and work toward a better future."
"Today is a day for reflection, as we remember the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "We stand in solidarity with the First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities, and extend our deepest condolences to all those whose lives were lost and impacted by these tragedies. At the TTC, we strive for inclusivity. We are currently recruiting for our first Indigenous Consultant for our Racial Equity Office. It is one of the things we are doing to ensure the TTC is a transit system where everyone feels welcome."
"Today the TTC affirms its commitment to continuous learning and awareness building so we can deepen our understanding of the impact of residential schools on our Indigenous colleagues and customers," said Keisha Campbell, the TTC's Chief Diversity and Culture Officer. "Acknowledging the past helps us to understand the ongoing impacts of residential school as well as allowing us to work toward dismantling harmful systems that are still in place today."
As part of the TTC's commitment to recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the following 10 internal and external actions have been taken:
1. Lowering flags to half-mast on TTC properties
2. Continuing the conversation on our social media channels
3. Hosting a joint event with the Toronto and Region Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) featuring Chief Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. The event was focused on educating and building awareness among all TTC employees
4. Providing orange armbands for frontline staff to honour the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities
5. Offering an Indigenous Inclusion community of practice event to employees through our employer partnership with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion
6. Acknowledging the day on all TTC station platform screens
7. Recruiting the TTC's first Indigenous Consultant
8. Sharing resources through a CEO message to all TTC employees
9. Playing the TTC's Land Acknowledgement video for employees on all TVs throughout the day
10. Launching our new internal Diversity and Culture website for all TTC employees
Further to the 10 actions, earlier this year on June 1, the TTC paused service for two minutes of silence to honour the 215 children whose remains were uncovered on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation territory.
The TTC continues to work hard to recognize the diversity and cultures of its employees and customers, and strives to create an inclusive environment that Torontonians can be both proud of and feel welcomed by.