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OPPI honours the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30 marks the third annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day of remembrance was established in 2021 to honour the victims and survivors of Canada’s Indian residential school system, to recognize their families and intergenerational survivors, and to support the healing journey of Indigenous communities.
Public commemoration of the tragic, painful, history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of reconciliation. OPPI understands that both acknowledgement and understanding of the truth are fundamental to meaningful reconciliatory action.
We call upon our membership to take time to reflect on the truth in the context of Canada’s history of land-use planning: how planning is complicit in the displacement of Indigenous Peoples from their traditional territories and the dispossession of their lands; how colonial planning practices have systematically ignored Indigenous rights, interests and perspectives; and how a current lack of Indigenous representation in planning processes leads to continued discrimination against Indigenous Peoples and communities.
In 2020, OPPI identified Indigenous history, cultures and perspectives as a priority for members in its Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) Program guide. Accordingly, members are encouraged to undertake learning in these areas, to better understand the ways in which planning practices have disproportionately disadvantaged Indigenous communities. We acknowledge that this may be a difficult journey, but one that is necessary for Canada as a nation, and for planning as a profession, to move forward.