National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30, 2023
September 30 is Orange Shirt Day, a grassroots campaign founded by Phyllis Webstad. Orange Shirt Day grew out of her own experiences and the experiences of other residential school survivors who attended St. Joseph’s Mission near Williams Lake, British Columbia. It’s a day to honour the healing journeys of residential school survivors and their families and a time to engage in meaningful discussions about the history and legacy of the residential school system.
Orange Shirt Day has become an important opportunity to open up dialogue on anti-racism and anti-bullying. This day is meant to also encourage deeper reflection, learning and public dialogue on the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
In June 2021, the Government of Canada passed Bill C-5 to name September 30 as a federal statutory day. It is observed as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This directly responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #80. Action #80 calls upon the federal government, in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, “to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour survivors, their families and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
We encourage you to also create time and space on September 30, and throughout the year, to reflect on the ways we can all participate in reconciliation.
Below are some suggested resources to assist you in this journey. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but it will help you get started. We are also providing a list of some events happening in the Lower Mainland area of BC.
Listen to the stories of residential school Survivors from A Day to Listen
To MCC Canada's podcast, Honouring treaties with peacebuilding with Adrian Jacobs, Ganosono of the Turtle Clan, Cayuga Nation of the Six Nations Haudenosaunee Confederacy.
To the song “We Won’t Forget You” by N’we Jinan Artists (Sk’elep School of Excellence in Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc, Kamloops): here.
Read Beyond 94
Did you live near a residential school? Use this interactive map to learn about your area – Interactive Map
Visit orangeshirtday.org to watch the video and hear the full story about Phyllis Webstad and her experience. Watch other videos of Murray Sinclair and Kulpi7 Fred Robbins share about the impacts of Indian Residential School.
Watch the CBC “Beyond 94” Videos
Four Seasons of Reconciliation
This free online course presented by BDC provides foundational knowledge on the relationship between Canada, Indigenous Peoples, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
This free BCIT course promotes an increased understanding of Indigenous people and their place and space in Canada, past and present.
Reconciliation through Indigenous Education
This 6-week Massive Open Online Course from UBC will help you envision how Indigenous histories, perspectives, worldviews, and approaches to learning can be made part of our everyday experiences in ways that are thoughtful and respectful.
Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course from the University of Alberta that explores the different histories and contemporary perspectives of Indigenous peoples living in Canada.
Events in BC
Stetís ímexstowx – Walk Beside Us | September 30, 10am – 2pm
o Civic Plaza/Thunderbird Square, 32315 South Fraser Way
o Semá:th X̱ó:tsa: Sts’ólemeqwelh Sx̱ó:tsa / Great-Gramma’s Lake performances at 11am and 1pm
Chilliwack School District: Orange Shirt Day Pow Wow | Sept 29-30 | Chilliwack Secondary School
Check with Doig River First Nation for possible events.
Coquitlam Public Library: Indigenous Film Festival | September 27 (2-5:30pm; 6:30-8pm) & 29 (12-4:30pm) | City Centre Library/Poirier Library
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30, 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Derek Doubleday Arboretum, 21559 Fraser Hwy, Langley
o 5:00- 6:30pm A Time to Reflect and Recommit to Reconciliation
o 6:30 - 7:30pm Honouring of the Children (speakers, drumming and candlelight walk)
Sto:lo Commemoration Ceremonies | September 29-October 1 | Fraser River Heritage Park
Syilx Okanagan Nation Alliance: Walk for the Children | September 30 |
Penticton Peach to Syilx IRS Monument (Penticton Hatchery)
Griffin Art Projects: webinar with Indigenous artist Miriam Berndt | September 30, 1-2:30pm PDT
NCTR: Truth & Reconciliation Week lunch & learns | September 25-30
Aurora Public Library: Inconvenient Indian film screening | September 30, all-day screening
Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack - A Day To Listen | September 30, 3am - 3 pm
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation | Sept 30, 2-3:30pm
Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park, Prince George
Includes ceremony, community round dance and community drum circle.
Syilx Okanagan Nation Alliance: Walk for the Children | September 29 – Oct 3
Patricia Theatre, 5848 Ash Ave., Powell River
Free Admission to all Films – Reserve your spot here.
Get in touch with our team
Contact Bridget Findlay, MCC BC Indigenous Neighbours Program Coordinator at 604-850-6639 or by email at email@example.com