National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is designated as an opportunity to ‘recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools.’ It was originally proposed in 2015 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which under Action 80 called upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish a statutory holiday “to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
You may already be aware that September 30th has been observed since 2013 as Orange Shirt Day, a movement to recognize the colonial legacy of residential schools and commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Orange Shirt Day recalls the experience of residential school Survivor Phyllis Webstad, who at six was stripped of her shiny new orange shirt on her first day attending the St. Joseph Mission Residential School near Williams Lake, BC. The date of September 30th was chosen because it was the time of year when Indigenous children were removed from their families and forced to attend residential schools.