Events Honouring The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation also referred to as Orange Shirt Day, is observed as a federal holiday on September 30th each year. To honour this sacred and solemn day, we have a list of gatherings, events and resources for your reference and consideration.

What Is The National Day For Truth and Reconciliation?

Every September 30th, Canada honours the memory of the thousands of children who didn’t make it home safely from, and the survivors of, Canada’s residential school system.

What is Orange Shirt Day?

“Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter-generational impacts of residential schools, and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”.  The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.” source

On September 30th, Canadians are encouraged to wear orange to honour the thousands of victims and survivors of residential schools.

Where To Buy An Orange Shirt

You do not need to purchase a special shirt to show support and honour the victims of residential schools, you can wear your favourite orange shirt. That being said, if you do want to purchase a shirt, make sure to support an indigenous-owned business or a business that donates 100% of the proceeds to registered indigenous charities. Here are some, not all, of the options:

Events and Gatherings

The Westdale

Free Movie Programming for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Attend 1 of 2 screenings of the movie “We Were Children”, starting at 1:30 and 6 pm. Or watch “We Will Stand Up” at 3:45 pm and 8 pm.

Address: 1014 King Street West, Hamilton, ON

City of Burlington

Community groups and local Indigenous communities to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at Spencer Smith Park. The City of Burlington is extending an open invitation to all residents and Indigenous people of Burlington and Halton to come to Spencer Smith Park on Sept. 30, 2022, between 4 and 7 p.m. to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The City will provide free space within the park for groups to set up their own displays, interactive events, or information booths. Everyone is encouraged to come to the park to learn, honour and participate in National Day for Truth and Reconciliation events and displays.

Address: 1400 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON

City of Burlington website

St. Matthew on-the-Plains Anglican Church

A traditional welcome will be followed by THE BLANKET EXERCISE, led by Archdeacon Val Kerr.  It will end with smudging and debriefing.  Feel free to bring your own blanket to be included as your personal recollection of this day.  Bring your own drinking container.  Water and muffins will be supplied.  NO FEE.  Pre-registration is required and can be accessed in one of three ways:  via Facebook at; by email at [email protected]; or by phone message at 905-632-1233

Address: 126 Plains Road East, Burlington, ON

St. Matthew On-The-Plains

Noon Hour Concert: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Listen to music Friday at noon in a prerecorded concert.

This week Lacey Hill is on the screen in Central Library’s Hamilton Room. A soulful musician, singer, and songwriter, Hill composes her music on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve. She grew up “down the bush” (slang for on the reserve) where her passion for singing emerged when she was a toddler.

Address: 55 York Stree, Hamilton, ON

HPL website

Hamilton Regional Indian Centre 3-Day Event at Gage Park

The HRIS is hosting a 3-day event in Hamilton’s Gage Park that will include a community social on Thursday. Friday from 10-7 will have survivors, elders, knowledge keepers, dancers, drummers, singers and more. And Sunday from 10-5 will include entertainment, activities and vendors.

Address: 1000 Main Street East, Hamilton, ON

Hamilton Regional Indian Centre Facebook page

Resources To Learn More About the National Day For Truth and Reconciliation

APTN – the Aboriginal People’s Television Network – will broadcast “a one-hour commemorative gathering presented in English, French, Inuktitut, and Cree that will broadcast live at 1:00 p.m. ET. Tune in to hear Survivors’ personal reflections as well as key speaker, His Honour Murray Sinclair, speak about their experiences and the importance of reconciliation.

APTN News will be live with hosts Melissa Ridgen and Dennis Ward before and after the gathering to share more about National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Watch live below at 12:30 p.m. ET.

All of CBC’s platforms – digital, TV, radio – will be broadcasting special programming all day on September 30th. You catch watch movies, interviews and documentaries throughout the day. Find the complete lineup on their website.

CBC Kids News has been a favourite of mine when I need to communicate big topics to small people. This video talks about how kids and their teachers can support reconciliation in the classroom.

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