National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30, 2023


Karen Restoule


Karen Restoule is a Vice President at Crestview Strategy based in Toronto. 

Karen Restoule is a Vice President at Crestview Strategy based in Toronto. 

Today, we mark the third National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a profoundly significant occasion that calls for unity, reflection, and purposeful steps toward reconciliation.

This national holiday was established in response to Call-to-Action #80 set out by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to honour the survivors and deceased children of Indian residential schools, along with their families and communities. Its purpose is to ensure that the history and ongoing legacy of these schools are never forgotten.

Responses to this day have varied, encompassing reflection, education, and questioning its necessity. However, one thing remains abundantly clear: it has sparked a national conversation about reconciliation, as underlined by Murray Sinclair, former commissioner and chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This day serves as a poignant reminder of past wrongs while kindling our commitment to a better future.

The journey to reconciliation is undeniably long and challenging, as exemplified by recent events, such as the discovery of unmarked graves and the sharing of survivors’ stories, which have illuminated a dark chapter in our history. It compels us to move beyond mere acknowledgment and take meaningful action.

As we commemorate this day, we must reflect on the influence each of us holds and how we can be accountable for our leadership roles. Regardless of whether you represent the voices of many or few, there are numerous actions you can take to make a meaningful impact.

Consider your level of power and influence and how you can embrace your leadership within those capacities. Take meaningful action within the bounds of your responsibility, and when necessary, utilize your influence. While demonstrating support and commitment to reconciliation on September 30th is commendable, it’s the sustained effort and tangible initiatives throughout the year that hold the greatest significance.

I have personally witnessed the power of collaboration, both in my personal life as a member of Dokis First Nation, and throughout my two decades of professional experience in fostering partnerships. Before joining Crestview Strategy, I led an environmental consulting firm dedicated to empowering Indigenous communities. My experience supporting First Nations leadership at Chiefs of Ontario allowed me to contribute to innovative solutions to longstanding challenges by bringing divergent views together to create mutual success.

These experiences underscore that reconciliation is not just a concept but a lived experience. It’s about acknowledging the resilience of Indigenous communities and their determination to build a better future, fostering partnerships that lead to shared success, and aligning with the spirit of reconciliation.

Reconciliation extends beyond the individual to entities across private, public, non-profit, and other sectors which bear a fundamental obligation to engage meaningfully with Indigenous communities. Industry’s involvement isn’t just commendable; it is an expectation, a way of doing business in the 21st century, a responsibility that cannot be overlooked.

At Crestview Strategy, we specialize in cultivating transformative connections. We stand poised to assist organizations in fulfilling this responsibility, ensuring that partnerships are not just initiatives but enduring commitments. Together, let’s shape a future where unity and understanding prevail, not only on significant days like this but every day, paving the way for a brighter tomorrow for all.

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