National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30 is The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation otherwise known as Orange Shirt Day. The day was created to recognize the legacy of residential schools in Canada, which more than 150,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit children were forced to attend between the 1870s and 1997.

The residential school system continues to have an impact on Indigenous communities to this day, and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation aims to provide an opportunity for us all to learn and reflect on the experiences, both past and present, that Indigenous Canadians have had to endure because of this ongoing history.

We encourage you to explore the resources below as we pause to reflect and learn on September 30th:

  1. Ministers Vandal, Miller, Bennett and Guilbeault mark Orange Shirt Day 2020 and provide history surrounding its significance and inception. Click Here.
  2. Wawahte: Stories of Residential School Survivors. Wawahte is an educational documentary based on the book of the same title by Robert P. Wells. It tells the story of Residential Schools from the perspective of three of its survivors. Find it Here.
  3. The Soul Wounds of the Anishinabek People.  This document shares information about “The Psychological and Intergenerational Impacts of the Indian Residential School.” Find it Here.
  4. “Creating Reconciliation for You, Others and Life”. This article explains what reconciliation means, and how we as individuals can embrace this evolving conversation. Click Here.
  5. “94 Calls to Action developed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada”. This document provides specific actions we can take as individuals and what we should encourage in our own communities to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada. Click Here.
    Example: The TRCC included four calls to action for sports and recreation. Here is just one: We call upon all levels of government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, sports halls of fame, and other relevant organizations, to provide public education that tells the national story of Aboriginal athletes in history.
    There are a great many amazing past, present and emerging Indigenous athletes. Here is a list of just 21 outstanding Indigenous athletes.
  6. It’s Our Time: The AFN Education Toolkit. This toolkit aims to bring together First Nations and non-First Nations people and foster a spirit of co-operation, understanding and action. It features a series of learning modules available in PDF form or through iPad or iPhone. Module topics include Residential Schools and First Nations Holistic Lifelong Learning Model. Find it Here.

For those that have not already done so, you may want to read the ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action”.  The report is available here.

To help answer your questions, there is a discussion hosted by DWF President & CEO, Sarah Midanik and featuring notable speakers:

  • Bob Watts, Former Interim Executive Director of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Harriet Visitor, Chanie Wenjack’s Niece and DWF Board Member
  • Blair Cunningham, Board Member, Orange Shirt Society
  • Hillory Tenute, Interim Executive Director, Canadian Roots Exchange

We invite you to watch the live premiere on our Facebook and YouTube channels at 10am ET on September 30, or gather your friends, family, coworkers, or classroom and watch anytime:

Download or stream on Vimeo

Stream on YouTube

Feel free to use our discussion questions in English and French to help guide the conversation after the video.

More events to tune into on September 30

Music icon and DWF board member, Buffy Sainte-Marie joins educator and niece of Chanie Wenjack, Harriet Visitor, for a discussion on reconciliation and education on SiriusXM. Watch on Facebook on September 30.

A Day for Truth and Reconciliation. In case you missed A Day to Listen on June 30, a number of radio stations will be replaying the stories of Indigenous people as a one-hour special. See participating stations.

Check out our Recommended Resources and ReconciliACTIONs for more ideas for how you can #DoSomething on September 30.

Indigenous Writers’ Panel: Literature on Intergenerational Trauma and Healing
September 30th, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

Join UCalgary’s Office of Indigenous Engagement and the Calgary Public Library for a day of online programming focused on intergenerational trauma and healing through the lens of Indigenous literature and film – Register Here.