Each year, September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day honours the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children who never returned home, the survivors, their families, and their communities. September 30th is also recognized as Orange Shirt Day, a national movement in recognition of the experiences of survivors of residential schools in Canada.
In the spirit of reconciliation and healing, wear an orange shirt on September 30th to show your solidarity with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples and acknowledge that every child matters.
Over the past year, the residential school system and its long-term impacts on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples in Canada has been in the headlines: the revelations of hundreds, possibly thousands of unmarked graves at school sites across the country, the historic visit of Pope Francis and his apology, the intergenerational trauma that may have been at the root of the tragedy in James Smith Cree Nation. For many non-Indigenous people, the full extent of the residential school system and its impact on Indigenous peoples in this country continues to be revealed: we must keep listening, learning, and be part of the change.
Community Development Halton (CDH) is grateful for the advocacy, resilience, and determination of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples who have fought for decades to have their truth heard and recognized; for too many years, Canadian society failed to listen to survivors and believe their stories.
This is a day for education, reflection, and listening. Because of the residential school system and other colonial practices, many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples grew up not knowing their culture or language, thereby interrupting the transmission of knowledge from parent to child, Elder to child. On Friday September 30, 2022, we ask you to take some time to learn more about how the lived experiences, perspectives, and languages of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples have been excluded from the national narrative.
Please take the time to explore the rich and diverse cultures, voices, experiences, and stories of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples:
• Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s report
• Sign up for the free Indigenous Canada course delivered by the University of Alberta
• Explore the resources available through Grandmother’s Voice
• Find activities in your local municipality marking the Day for Truth and Reconciliation