OC's commitment to reconciliation

Supports, resources and information regarding Okanagan College’s commitment to reconciliation, and working with and learning from Indigenous communities

Okanagan College respectfully acknowledges that our Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon campuses are located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan People, our Salmon Arm campus is located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Secwepemc, and our Revelstoke centre is located on the traditional and unceded territories of the Ktunaxa, Secwepemc, Sinixt and Syilx Okanagan Peoples.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation - Sept. 30

Okanagan College invites the community to take part in events and activities available on campus to honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Coinciding with Orange Shirt Day on September 30 each year, this day commemorates the history and legacy of the residential school system, honouring survivors, their families and the children who never came home.   


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News and notices

Jun 5, 2023

Okanagan College students preparing for careers as education assistants are benefiting from teaching that goes beyond what you learn from…

Jul 19, 2021

The following story is being shared from Castanet. The story was submitted by the Community Engagement Co-ordinator with the Greater Vernon Museum…

A message for those impacted by the legacy of residential schools

On behalf of Okanagan College and the Board of Governors, we extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to all of the survivors, families and Indigenous communities across the region, the province and the country who are mourning and experiencing the compounded sorrow, anger, grief and so many other painful emotions stirred by the confirmation of the remains of children buried in unmarked graves on the sites former Indian Residential Schools in Canada. Please know that the people of Okanagan College grieve with you, hold you in our thoughts, and stand with you and now in the future.

Access supports

Our hearts are with all survivors, families and Indigenous communities across the country as more news is shared about residential schools. Supports are available for students and employees:

Our commitment

Okanagan College recognizes that we are part of the educational and social fabric of the region and that we have both the opportunity and responsibility to support and empower OC learners and employees to be positive agents of dialogue, knowledge sharing and change. 

Our mission is to transform lives and communities, and it is the people of Okanagan College who bring this mission to life. We recognize that this mission cannot be fully achieved without strong commitment to – and action toward – reconciliation.

Okanagan College is committed to full engagement in the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. OC strives to be a place where all students, staff, faculty and visitors can learn from the deep knowledge and traditions of Indigenous communities and from the effects of colonialism.

We recognize that communication, knowledge, understanding, awareness and action all play a role in reconciliation and lead us to a more inclusive, equitable and just society. We also recognize that the ongoing systemic racism experienced by Indigenous people of Canada continues in innumerable ways. 

As many Indigenous and non-Indigenous people across the country and the world have pointed out, the Residential School System in Canada is not history. It is not a relic of the past. The legacy of the system continues in the lived experience of pain and suffering still felt, and that will be felt, by the survivors, their families and all those impacted by it, for generations into the future. We acknowledge the trauma that exists and persists, and commit to listening, learning and acting in ways that support Indigenous members of our community in the process of healing. 

Resources and information

In the days, weeks and months to come, Okanagan College will be listening, learning and looking for ways to engage our community in discussion that will guide our future actions. We recognize that Okanagan College students and employees will be at different points in their journey toward awareness, engagement and action on the path toward reconciliation. 


  • All My Relations
  • APTN In Focus
  • 2 Crees in a Pod  
  • This Place  
  • Telling Our Twisted Histories 
  • The Secret life of Canada 
  • Muddied Water: 1870 Homeland of the Metis 
  • Kiwew  
  • Pieces 
  • Warrior Life 
  • Inuit Unikkaamgit 
  • Coffee and Quaq 
  • Spirit to Soar: Where We Come From

*Podcasts are available with a variety of providers (Spotify, Apple, YouTube, etc.)



Laura Michel, Secwepemc playwright 

OC Library Indigenous reading list

* indicates book is available through OC Library

  • Seven Fallen Feathers – Tanya Talaga* 
  • Braiding Sweetgrass – Robin Wall Kimmerer* 
  • The Reason You Walk – Wab Kinew* 
  • The Inconvenient Indian – Thomas King * 
  • Medicine Walk – Richard Wagamese* 
  • Indian Horse – Richard Wagamese* 
  • The Politics of The Canoe - Bruce Erickson and Sara Wylie Krotz  
  • Writing of the Hamat'sa – Aaron Glass  
  • A Mind Spread Out on the Ground – Alicia Elliott* 
  • Five Little Indians – Michelle Good* 
  • The Truth About Stories – Thomas King* 
  • We All Go Back to the Land: The Who, Why and How of Land Acknowledgements – Suzanne Keeptwo *
  • Storying Violence: Unravelling Colonial Narratives in the Stanley Trial – Dallas Hunt and Gina Starblanket *
  • The Dispossessed: Life and death in native Canada – Geoffrey York*
  • In this Together: Fifteen Stories of Truth and Reconciliation – Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail*
  • An Introductory Guide to Understanding Indigenous Rights – Tracy Campbell (Can purchase on MNP or Amazon)
  • Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples*
  • Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School, Celia Haig-Brown
  • Namwayut: A pathway to reconciliation, Chief Robert Joseph
  • The Dispossessed: Life and Death in Native Canada, Geoffrey York
  • True Reconciliation: How to be a force for change, Jody Wilson-Raybould
  • 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, Bob Joseph
  • TSQELMUCWILC: The Kamloops Indian Residential School, Celia Haig-Brown

Looking for more books? Visit CBCs reading list or the Okanagan College Library Resources for Learning About Indigenous History and Residential Schools

Books for children

  • Shi-shi-etko, Nicola I. Campbell
  • Shin-chi's Canoe, Nicola I. Campbell
  • When I Was Eight, Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
  • Not My Girl, Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
  • Finding the Language, Adelyn Newman-Ting
  • OC LibGuide - resources for talking to children


Recommended reading

Follow OC Indigenous Services on Facebook and Instagram.

Documentaries, films and videos

“I Pledge” at OC

Join us in engaging the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.
Handprint with the words "I pledge" over an orange background

Okanagan College recognizes that each community member has a vital role to play in reconciliation. Join us in reading and acting on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. As individuals and as part of the OC community, we can each find meaningful opportunities to reflect on the legacy of residential schools, engage in acts of reconciliation to redress that legacy and advance the process of reconciliation in Canada.

A small action could lead to big changes. Pledge your commitment to reconciliation by signing your name below – if you’d like, comment on the acts of reconciliation with which you are endeavoring to move forward in your work, family or community.

Please note: OC’s core values include diversity, inclusivity, collegiality and collaboration. Pledge submissions will be moderated to uphold these values.

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"I pledge" at OC