National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
In June 2021, the federal government passed legislation to make September 30 a statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Soon after, BC followed suit, recognizing it in the public sector.
This day provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn about and reflect on dark chapters in our country’s history and to commemorate residential school survivors, their families, and their communities—as called for by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Call to Action 80.
Since 2013, September 30 has been observed as Orange Shirt Day, a day that recognized the colonial legacy of residential schools. Orange Shirt Day recalls the experience of residential school Survivor Phyllis Webstad, who was stripped of her shiny new orange shirt on her first day attending residential school at six years old.
Here are some events and resources from our community to help you learn and reflect.
Image credit: Carved by Coast Salish artist Luke Marston, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Bentwood Box is a lasting tribute to all Indian Residential School Survivors. The carved panels represent the unique cultures of former First Nations, Inuit and Métis students. Used with permission.
on the web
These recommended websites are free and easily accessible! All you need is an internet connection.
A day of reflection and learning. Thanks to the generous support from the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, the SLCC will be free admission on September 30th. Stories from Elders, songs from Knowledge Keepers, and the voices of Indigenous youth will be heard. Please join us, on this day or any day.
We are gathering with Elders and their families on Orange Shirt Day. We invite you all to join us on this important day to help raise awareness about residential schools and their lasting impact on Indigenous peoples. Every Child Matters. Wear your orange shirt in support. Presented in partnership with the Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS), the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre (VAFC), and the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre (VACPC).
West Vancouver Memorial Library presents the film Chaakapesh, written by Tomson Highway, composed by Matthew Ricketts, and performed in the fall of 2018 by the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal (OSM). The opera, under the direction of Kent Nagano, tells the story of Chaakapesh, a trickster who sets out to stop the massacre of his people by white settlers through teaching these settlers to laugh. Sung in Cree and narrated in Innu, Cree, and Inuktitut, Chaakapesh represents a powerful collaboration between the OSM and Indigenous artists and communities.
Join an intergenerational march to commemorate Orange Shirt Day. Members of the UBC STEM community, families and those in solidarity are welcome to participate. September 30, 2021, 11:45 am - 2:00 pm.
Gatherers are encouraged to wear orange and bring a drum to play during Skookum Surrey’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation event at Holland Park on Thursday (Sept. 30). “An afternoon of stories, tea, bannock and drumming” is promised during the rain-or-shine event, planned from 2 to 4 p.m. near the park fountain, off Old Yale Road at King George Boulevard.
MOA's popular Sound House series: a reflective night of poetry, hip hop, and spoken word by Indigenous artists to mark Orange Shirt Day. Join in a commemorative lantern procession and take in the powerful performances by the orange glow in MOA’s Haida House. September 30, 2021, 7-9pm.
The Survivors’ Flag is an expression of remembrance, meant to honour residential school Survivors and all the lives and communities impacted by the residential school system in Canada. Each element depicted on the flag was carefully selected by Survivors from across Canada, who were consulted in the flag’s creation.
CBC is sharing First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives and experiences from across the country. For the entire day of September 30, 2021, these stories will be broadcast across CBC TV, CBC News Network, CBC.ca, CBC Kids, CBC Radio One and CBC Music.
Co-created by Tsatsu Stalqayu, Mortal Coil and Butterflies in Spirit, Xweýene:msta:m ?əkwəsqwel, seýeḿ (translation: call to witness / listen to respected one) is a performance to honour Orange Shirt Day on Thursday, September 30, 2021, presented by the Vancouver Art Gallery.