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September 30th marks National Day for Truth and Reconciliation — a day to honour the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. This collective of Chatter That Matters episodes features the voices of Indigenous people who passionately advocate for change.

On National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Canadians are encouraged to participate in learning and listening activities to build their awareness of the tragic and painful history of residential schools, acknowledge their ongoing impacts and remember the children who never came home. In this Chatter That Matters collection of Indigenous voices, listeners can hear from residential school Survivors, Indigenous people who overcame barriers to achieve greatness and victims of abuse whose stories don’t end in despair but in empowerment, change and hope.

Chatter That Matters episodes that celebrate Indigenous heritage

Phil Fontaine on Truth and Reconciliation

Former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine was one of the first to publicly address the physical, psychological and sexual abuse in residential schools — and his story encouraged other Survivors to come forward. He turned his anger into a lifelong pursuit of acknowledgment and change, playing an instrumental role in raising awareness and advancing reconciliation. In this conversation, Fontaine reflects on the past and paints a hopeful vision of the future.



 

Dr. Alika Lafontaine on Empathic Patient Care

The first Indigenous president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), Dr. Alika Lafontaine, shares his unconventional journey. Managing through a learning disability as a child, Lafontaine overcame his barriers, eventually completing his MD and a fellowship in anesthesiology. He won CBC’s “Next Great Prime Minister” competition with a platform focused on reconciling the Treaty relationship between Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and Canadians. He discusses his patient-first approach to healthcare founded on empathy and trust and his vision for a better system that considers the collective health of patients, doctors and nurses.



 

Indigenous Speaker, Activist and Author Sandi Boucher Shares a Path Forward to Reconciliation

“Every conversation can have an impact on reconciliation,” says Sandi Boucher, Indigenous activist, speaker and author who is living proof that your past doesn’t have to be your future. In this episode of Chatter That Matters, she shares her journey, history and hope for a future that acknowledges the past but isn’t defined by it. Her book “The Path” is a detailed action plan for Indigenous/ Canadian reconciliation.



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