Five Ways to Commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30, 2022, marks the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The day was established in 2021 in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 80th call to action:

“We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal 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.”

Many governments, organizations and businesses, including MLT Aikins, will be closed on September 30 to observe the day and reflect on the legacy of residential schools. Here are five ways you can mark the day and deepen your understanding of truth and reconciliation.

1. Read an educational resource/memoir

2. Watch

3. Listen

  • Remembering the Children: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
    Friday, September 30 at 1 p.m. (2 AT/ 2:30 NT) on CBC Radio One and CBC Listen
  • Telling Our Twisted Histories. Words connect us. Words hurt us. Indigenous histories have been twisted by centuries of colonization. Host Kaniehti:io Horn brings us together to decolonize our minds– one word, one concept, one story at a time.
  • Unreserved is the radio space for Indigenous community, culture, and conversation. Host Rosanna Deerchild takes you straight into Indigenous Canada, from Halifax to Haida Gwaii, from Shamattawa to Ottawa, introducing listeners to the storytellers, culture makers and community shakers from across the country.
  • 2 Crees in a Pod explores a deep conversation about Indigenous knowledge and how this way of life and learning is critical for Indigenous people today.
  • A Tribe Called Geek is a nerd-culture podcast that prides itself on its “Indigenerdity.” The ATCG website covers everything from comics, STEM, cosplaying, art, entertainment and more.

4. Wear an orange shirt

  • When she was six, Phyllis (Jack) Webstad had a brand new orange shirt for her first day of school, bought for her by her grandmother. When she arrived at residential school, she was stripped and her clothes were taken away, including her orange shirt. The shirt was never returned. To Phyllis, the colour orange was a reminder of her residential school experiences: “how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared.” Learn more about her story.

5. Attend an event in your city

Winnipeg

Regina

  • 10 a.m. – Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty is hosting an Orange Shirt Day Musician Brad Bellegarde will perform. The event will be held near the grounds of the Residential School Memorial at Government House.
  • 11 a.m. – The Eagle Heart Centre is hosting a walk on Friday Sept. 30 at 11 A.M. followed by a community BBQ at 2900 5th Ave.
  • 12 p.m. – Regina Public Library (RPL) will host an in-person event to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at Central Library, 2311- 12th Avenue. The free, drop-in event will also be streamed live via YouTube, for those who prefer to attend online.
  • 1 p.m. – The Wakamow Aboriginal Community Association, in partnership with the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery is hosting a powwow and gathering in the Wakamow Valley. This will happen at the same time again on Saturday, October 1.
    • 2:30 p.m. – The Royal Saskatchewan Museum Regina will host a day of education featuring music and stories from residential school survivors. Pre-registration is encouraged but not necessary. There will also be a virtual livestream on YouTube.
    • Miyo-wîcîwitowin Day / September 29 – 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. / Mosaic Stadium

Saskatoon

Calgary

Edmonton

  • Book reading: Nokum is my Teacher and Phyllis’ Orange Shirt, September 30, 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. at Royal Alberta Museum, Roundhouse. ‘Nokum is my Teacher,’ is a dialogue between a grandmother and her grandson to help him better understand the larger world while respecting Indigenous ways of life. Phyllis Webstad’s book, ‘Phyllis’ Orange Shirt’ will also be read on her true story behind creating Orange Shirt Day.
  • Royal Alberta Museum Viewing Table, September 30, 1-3 p.m. at Royal Alberta Museum lobby. Learn about Indigenous stories and objects from RAM’s Learning Collection at their viewing table in the lobby. Visitors will have the chance to ask questions and see objects up close.
  • Calling on Spirit Back, Truth and Reconciliation event, Sept 30, 2022 at Boyle Street Plaza – 9538 103A Ave
    • 7:30 a.m. – Pipe Ceremony
    • 9 a.m. – Courageous Conversation
    • 5 p.m. – Feast
    • 6 p.m. – Round Dance
  • Orange Shirt Day Walk, September 30 at 4 p.m. at Wetaskiwin and District Heritage Museum. Join us as we walk on the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation to remember those children taken from their homes and sent to Residential Schools. We will be walking from the Wetaskiwin & District Heritage Museum to the Peace Cairn and then move over to Jubilee Park for more activities.
  • Guided Walks on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30 at 9-11 a.m. & 1-3 p.m. at U of A MacEwan Library, Norquest Library, UofA Library & NEOS Library Consortium. Join us for reflective land-based teaching and learning on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Two walks are planned for this day, each considering the histories of these lands and its people from different vantage points.
    1. Morning Walk: ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞Indigenous Arts Park to Rossdale Burial Grounds
    2. Afternoon Walk: MacEwan Treaty Marker to Twin Burial Grounds (Saint Joachim & Edmonton Municipal)

Vancouver

  • Vancouver September 30, 2022 11:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Intergenerational March UBC Vancouver Campus
  • Learn more about reconciliation through theatre with FROZEN RIVER A poignant and powerful play about reconciliation, environmentalism, and interconnectedness – playing at the Carousel Theatre running from September 28 to October 16 – Tickets are $18
  • Visit the Griffin Art Gallery in North Van and Attend the event in person or via zoom September 30 at 1 p.m.: On Truth and Reconciliation: Indigenous artist James Harry discusses his project with SOS Village.
  • From 1-4 p.m. on September 30, Trout Lake Community Centre and Nisga’a Ts’amiks Vancouver Society invite everyone to gather to commemorate Orange Shirt Day. The event will feature ceremony, drumming, songs, and stories. Orange shirts will be sold, with proceeds supporting survivors.