National Day of Truth and Reconciliation Events and Ceremonies

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 and their families of residential schools in Canada.

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:

Truth and Reconciliation Day Events and Gatherings

The Westdale

The Nature of Healing is the spoken truth of seven Survivors of Mohawk Institute, Canada’s first and longest running Indian residential school. From victim to survivor, to activist, this is a story of resistance, resilience and a healing path.

Address: 1014 King Street West, Hamilton, ON

The Healthy Aboriginal Men’s Circle Drum Ceremony

The Healthy Aboriginal Men’s Circle Drum Group invites the Burlington community to acknowledge Orange Shirt Day. This day acknowledges that residential schools are a part of our history. Wearing an orange shirt is a national movement to recognize the experience of those who went to Indian residential schools, to honour them, and show a collective commitment to ensure that Every Child Matters. Join us for a commemorative ceremony at 12:45 p.m. by the pavilion at Spencer Smith Park.

Click here for further details.

The Walk Home: Orange Shirt Day

The Burlington community is invited to join WhiteEagle and Amber Kakiishiway on the Walk Home to honour those residential school survivors who never made it home. Join us at 2 p.m. by the pavilion in Spencer Smith Park. Please wear orange and moccasins if you have them.

More info can be found here.

Hamilton Library Truth and Reconciliation Day Programming

Listen to music from 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.

HPL website

Hamilton Regional Indian Centre 2-Day Orange Shirt Day Event at Gage Park

The HRIS is hosting a 2-day event in Hamilton’s Gage Park that will include a community social on Friday. Saturday from 11-5 will have survivors, elders, knowledge keepers, dancers, drummers, singers and more.

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

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.

Every Child Matters By Phyllis Webstad: A children’s book about the history and resiliency of Indigenous Peoples.

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation Events

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