How to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30

Thursday is the first ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.

The federal government officially made September 30 a statutory holiday in June 2021.

The day honours the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.

The federal government says public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.

What you can do

Wear Orange

September 30 is Orange Shirt Day, which also honours and remembers residential schools survivors and those who died.

Orange Shirt Day stems from the story of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation.

She wore a new orange shirt for her first day of school, but it was taken away from her. The orange shirt now symbolizes how Indigenous children were stripped of their culture, freedom and self-esteem over generations.

It might be too late to gear up in orange this year, but you can be ready next year by buying your orange shirt through the Orange Shirt Society website or approved vendors.

Read the TRC report

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) ran from 2008 to 2015 and provided those directly or indirectly affected by the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools policy with an opportunity to share their stories and experiences.

The report details 94 calls to action. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a direct response to the report.

Click here to read it.


You can use the day to learn more about residential schools, especially those that may have been located in your community.

Click here to read more, watch videos, listen to audio clips or even try out crafts.

Social Media

Post a picture of yourself, family or friends wearing orange shirts to spread awareness.

Use the hashtags #NDTR and #EveryChildMatters.


The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is putting on a series of virtual events. Click here for more details.

This year, you’re encouraged to pause for a moment of silence at 2:15 p.m., which is how many unmarked graves were discovered at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

The Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Nation in British Columbia is urging the Secwepemc Honour Song be taught in schools, workplaces and at home. The First Nation posted a video to help people learn the song and is suggesting people sing and drum at 2:15 p.m.

The federal government is holding an event on Parliament Hill on the eve of the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It will take place Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

Local Events

The City of Oshawa is still accepting orange ribbons at City Hall and other places until October 5.

Click here for details.

You can join Ajax Council online for the Mississauagas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN) permanent flag pole installation and flag raising ceremony at 11 a.m. on Thursday. It will be livestreamed.

The community is also invited to participate in an in-person healing circle with Indigenous Elder, Kim Wheatley at 1 p.m. Thursday in Heritage Square at Ajax Town Hall.

Several local libraries are holding a virtual event with Indigenous children’s authors.

Click here for details.

The Oshawa Museum is doing in-person tours of its Indigenous history exhibit.

Click here for details.

Whitby Library has set a place aside for you to tie orange ribbons. You can ask for one at the service desk at the central location or bring your own.

Pickering’s Central Library is offering passive activities for families. The library is also giving out orange ribbons (while supplies last). There are four ‘Ribbons of Hope’ displays across the city where you can tie a ribbon.

Click here for details.

Students at Durham College and Ontario Tech University are invited to campus events, both in-person and virtual.

Click here for details.

Clarington Library has posted a couple of storytime videos for younger readers.

Click here for details.

Whitby Minor Lacrosse is hosting a free event for players of all levels. Helmet and stick required.

Click here for details.

As well, earlier in the year, several organizations across the region collaborated to host a five-part discussion series addressing the role of Indigenous voices in Durham.

via durhamradionews


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