Photo Credit: Government of Canada     


What is Reconciliation?



What is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation?

September 30, 2021 will be the first year of a new federal statutory holiday (excluding Ontario) called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day is dedicated to the memory of the children who died in residential schools, as well as survivors, their families, and communities. The public commemoration of the tragic and terrible past of residential schools, as well as its ongoing effects, is an important part of the healing process. 

Orange Shirt Day is a grassroots Indigenous-led remembrance day that honours and commemorates the children who endured Residential Schools. This day commemorates the arrival of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem'c Xgat'tem First Nation, clothed in a new orange shirt, which was seized from her on her first day of school. It has become a symbol of Indigenous children's culture, freedom, and self-esteem being stripped away over decades. 

On September 30, all Canadians are encouraged to wear orange and participate to raise awareness of the very tragic legacy of residential schools, and to honour the thousands of Survivors.

Source:  Government of Canada 


When and why was the day declared in Canada?

Based on hearings held between 2008 and 2014, the Truth and Reconciliation Centre said establishing a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation would honour survivors, their families, and communities and to ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools is still an important part of the healing process

On June 5, 2021, Bill C-5, which created a statutory holiday to celebrate the legacy of residential schools in Canada, approval after passing all together in the Senate. The decision was fast-tracked following the Kamloops discovery.

The original proposed date was for June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day. But after discussion with Indigenous groups and individuals across Canada, the date was set for Sept. 30. This day in past years have been marked as Orange shirt day since 2013. The day honours residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad, who had her orange shirt taken away on the first day of school.

Source: CBC 


What You Can Do

Ways to participate in the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

To watch and listen to:

  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and We Know the Truth: Stories to Inspire Reconciliation on CBC TV- 8:00- 10:00 pm on September 30th

To read & learn:

To do:

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