This year, for the first time, September 30th has been observed as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day provides an opportunity for all Canadians to recognize and acknowledge Canada’s horrific legacy of the residential school system.

The Fulmer Foundation is committed to fostering a spirit of reconciliation and honour for Indigenous Peoples all across Canada. As part of our effort, the foundation was privileged to partner with Arts Umbrella, an organization whose mission is to cultivate a lifelong journey towards self-expression, compassion and humanity in individuals aged 2 to 22, in art, design, theatre, dance music and film.

Instead of closing their doors to classes on September 30th to mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Arts Umbrella embraced their regular class programming recognizing an opportunity and responsibility to honour survivors, their families, and communities through public commemoration and education.

As educators at heart, Arts Umbrella believed that it was their responsibility to share the importance of this day with their students, offering special presentations and activities to those enrolled in classes.

Students of all ages participated in activities and talks that were age-appropriate and led by Indigenous artists and knowledge keepers, live-streamed for students and others from the public who were unable to attend but wanted to partake.

Custom T-Shirts were also designed and sold on the day with proceeds from sales being donated to the Urban Native Youth Association’s Overly Creative Minds drop-in program. An incredible organization that offers Indigenous youth ages 11 to 24 a safe and welcoming space to explore various visual and performing arts.

At Fulmer & Company, our hope is that however Canadians choose to mark this important day, that they do so deliberately, fueled by love and compassion, led by a spirit of honour and humble self-reflection.

We are grateful for organizations like Arts Umbrella who exemplify these important qualities and we were privileged to support them this year as they used their platform to build a better Canada.