National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
The following is a discussion about the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and residential schools. If you wish to speak to someone for support please contact the Residential School Survivors and Family Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
September 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and for the first year, it is being recognized as a national holiday by our federal government. Many people recognize this day by wearing an orange t-shirt to help raise awareness of the history of residential schools in Canada.
In 1973, Phyllis Webstad of Stswecem’c Xgat’tim First Nation attended her first day of residential school in Williams Lake, British Columbia. Young Phyllis’s brand new orange shirt was taken away from her that day never to be returned again. Forty years later, on September 30, 2013, Phyllis spoke publicly for the first time about her experience in residential school and the Orange Shirt Day movement began.
The Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 80 says the federal government will work with Indigenous people to establish a stat day to honour the Survivors, their families and communities who were profoundly and negatively affected by the legacy of residential schools in Canada.
Acknowledging our shared history and the role we each play in reconciliation is important year ‘round but especially on The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This September 30th, please take a moment to reflect on the children who were sent to residential school and those who never came home.
If you’re looking for ways to mark the day, here’s two resources:
- The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation will be running a full week of educational videos. Check out the schedule and watch the videos on their YouTube channel.
- APTN is offering programming throughout the day on this important topic. You can get a free trial of APTN Lumi to watch their videos if you don’t have the channel.