September 30th is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

On September 30th we’ll recognize the 3rd annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day has become an important way to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation.

Did you know that, only four out of ten on reserve First Nations youth finish high school? That in indigenous communities one in every four children grows up in poverty?

Education is a way to change this, and you can help by supporting organizations like Indspire. Indspire is a national Indigenous, registered charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people for the benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada.

Indspire has often been called the most successful and well-run Indigenous organization in Canada. And for six years in a row (2017 – 2022) has been named a Top 10 Canadian Impact Charity by Charity Intelligence Canada.

The myth about free education

I’ve met many people who believe that First Nations, Inuit or Métis students receive cradle-to-grave funding for their education. Or that their education is free. That’s simply not true. Yes, some students receive some support. But many students will never have the opportunity to pursue further education due to financial barriers.

A huge opportunity for Canada

Did you know that if we could close the gap in education, in concert with the employment and employment income gap, it would have a total economic impact of $457 billion by 2041? Educating Indigenous youth will reduce poverty and social ills. It will help children to grow up in healthier communities.

We are seeing record numbers of students applying for financial support. However, we are only able to fund 29% of the financial needs of qualified applicants.

I can tell you that the dreams of an Indigenous youth are the same as any youth. They want to become adults who accomplish something meaningful. Clarissa is one of those students.

“My English name is Clarissa Peter, and my traditional name is Yutetethu. I am a member of the Cowichan Tribes and have family from all over southern Vancouver Island. I am also a first-generation post-secondary learner, as well as the first-generation in my family to not attend day schools and residential schools.”

Clarissa’s maternal grandparents both served as chief and were active within the council for most of their lives. Clarissa is proud to be following a path created by her family and feels empowered to begin her journey.

“My grandparents filled me with so much love and so much belief that I could be anything I wanted to be, that even after they’re gone there is nothing that I want more than to go to law school – in their honor and legacy. They instilled in me who I am, where I’m from, and where I belong, and I want all of my nieces and nephews to know they can do it too.”

Clarissa’s parents went to day schools and three of her grandparents went to residential schools. She is enrolled in law school because her ancestors never had that chance, even though many of them fought for lawfulness, justice, and fairness, and taught her to do the same.

“I’m passionate about Indigenous studies and the betterment of my community.”

You can help make it possible for other Indigenous students to realize their dream of a post-secondary education. I hope that in honour of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation you will consider making a gift to Indspire.

To learn more about Indspire visit