Sat. Mar 25th, 2023

September 30th is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and Orange Shirt Day across Canada.

By | Amaya Heyes

It is a federal statutory holiday that recognizes the tragic history of residential schools and the pain it caused Indigenous children who were taken from their families and never returned, as well as current survivors.

All Canadians are strongly encouraged to take the time to learn about this history and acknowledge the harms that were done. This is the day to do just that.

As of 2013, September 30th has been known as Orange Shirt Day. Residential school survivor and B.C resident Phyllis Webstad inspired the movement after she shared a story of her own experience at a residential school.

a girl in orange t shirt writing on the book
Orange Shirt Day will be Thursday, September 29 @ Notre Dame

The intention behind Orange shirt day is to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”; the orange shirt symbolizes the stripping away of freedom and culture experienced by Indigenous children.

A new orange shirt Phyllis Webstad received from her family (along with the rest of her clothes) was taken from her at the residential school she was forced to attend.

Across the country, hundreds of local activities are taking place for Truth and Reconciliation Day.

One of them is to honour the survivors, their families, and communities: buildings across Canada will be lit with bright orange lights from September 30th at 7:00 pm, to sunrise on October 1st.

This will include federal buildings such as the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill.

The CN Tower lit up in orange

In addition to participating in certain events like the Intergenerational March for Orange Shirt Day, people can educate themselves on this day, and explore the diverse cultures, experiences, and stories of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. 

For more information, please visit the Government of Canada website.

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