When Josh Hensman heard about the new day to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, it made him a bit uncomfortable.
“It felt a little bit awkward to me because I’m a person with a lot of privilege,” Hensman said in an Instagram video. “Other people like me, with privilege, are going to be getting a paid day off on Sept. 30 but the people that this day should really be for may not actually be any better off.”
Hensman said he thought that donating his day’s pay to an Indigenous-led organization could be a good way to honour the true meaning of the day.
He partnered with The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, an organization that seeks to “encourage individuals and organizations to learn, acknowledge, and understand more about reconciliation and the decolonization of wealth.
CEO Kris Archie, a Secwepemc and Seme7 woman from the Ts’qescen First Nation, said that One Day’s Pay is a simple, tangible way for Canadians to contribute to Indigenous-led organizations.
“It was really important that for this campaign we find organizations that were supporting survivors, that were doing the kind of policy work that supports Indigenous Peoples in urban communities and also that help build awareness,” Archie said.
“When I consider this campaign, I think about who I would love to see give: folks who have barbecues on Canada Day, folks who love love their hockey team. I’m talking about folks who take pride in being Canadian because I want their pride to mean more.”
Archie said it was about all Canadians being willing “to face the harm this country has done,” from residential schools to current policies.
The Circle and One Day’s Pay partnered with three organizations; the Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society, the Orange Shirt Society and the National Association of Friendship Centres.