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NATIONAL DAY FOR TRUTH & RECONCILIATION
HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

WHY DO WE OBSERVE THE NATIONAL DAY FOR TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION?
September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day that coincides with
Orange Shirt Day. The day honours the children who never returned home and Survivors of
residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Public commemoration of the
tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the
reconciliation process.

We cannot erase our past, but we can work to help the healing. We’re calling on all our
employees to do their part to educate themselves, take actions in their community to encourage
change, and donate to those organizations assisting with healing in Indigenous communities
across Canada.

RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL HISTORY & THEIR LEGACY
For a period of more than 150 years, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation children were taken
from their families and communities to attend schools which were often located far from their
homes. It is important to understand that this is not in the distant past. The last residential school
was closed in 1996 leaving the survivors, and generations to come, with inter-generational
trauma. More than 150,000 children attended Indian Residential Schools and many never
returned.

Click each link to learn more about the history of residential schools and their legacy:
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: Residential School Timeline
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: Residential School History
Canadian Museum for Human Rights – Residential Schools and their Legacy
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports
Residential Schools Timeline (Video)
CBC Kids – What is reconciliation? (Video)
Heritage Minutes: Chanie Wenjack (Video)
Legacy of Hope: Where are the children?
CBC Front Burner: Residential school survivors mourn after discovery of unmarked graves

ORANGE SHIRT DAY HISTORY
Orange Shirt Day is also held on September 30th each year. It is an Indigenous-led grassroots
commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family, and community intergenerational 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.

• Read more about the History of Orange Shirt Day: https://www.orangeshirtday.org
• Read about Phyllis (Jack) Webstad’s story in her own words or watch the video here.
• A list of retailers selling Official Orange shirts with proceeds going to the Orange Shirt
Society can be found here. If you choose to purchase an orange shirt now or in the
future, try to select a supplier who directs proceeds to Indigenous organizations.

THE SURVIVORS’ FLAG

The Survivors' Flag - NCTR
The Survivors’ Flag is an expression of remembrance, meant to honour residential school
Survivors and all the lives and communities impacted by the residential school system in Canada.
Each element depicted on the flag was carefully selected by Survivors from across Canada, who
were consulted in the flag’s creation. To learn more about its significance, visit:
https://nctr.ca/exhibits/survivors-flag/

Cover Photo Artwork: Andy Everson