Today, September 30th, is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Despite the name, we as a Canadian society are still far from achieving reconciliation and must not forget our duty to amplify indigenous voices, educate one another and to advocate.
This day does not only remind us of the First Nation, Metis, and Inuit survivors of Residential Schools and the families of those who did not return, but of the continued commitment we must take in order to enact change.
Steps to reconciliation must first start by educating ourselves. We encourage all of us to take time to educate ourselves on this matter as well as to explore new ways to incorporate reconciliation education and decolonization into our program activities, personal lives, today and in the future. As an organization who acts as some of the first contacts that new Canadians encounter, it is crucial that we can pass on our understandings and indigenous resources regarding the rich history and culture of Canada’s Indigenous people.
On this day, let us all take some time to reflect on the foundation of Canada .
On September 30th, all Canadians are encouraged to wear orange to raise awareness of the very tragic legacy of residential schools, and to honour the thousands of Survivors.
Orange Shirt Day
On this day, we also mark the 9th annual Orange Shirt Day. We recognize the impact and legacy of Canada’s residential school system and continue to learn the many truths of these institutions. We honour the lives of every Indigenous child lost to this system and recognize the lasting impact that it has had on the lives of Indigenous survivors and communities.
Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours the children who survived Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not. This day relates to the experience of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, on her first day of school when she was 6 years old, where she arrived dressed in a new orange shirt, which was taken from her. It is now a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
- National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
- National Centre for Truth and Reconcilation
- 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Call to Justice
- Orange Shirt Day
- The First Nations Child & Family Caring Society has published an award-winning picture book series based on true events in relation to reconciliation education (in English and French).