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Honoring the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Each year, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (#NDTR). This commemorative day was established by the Government of Canada, in collaboration with Indigenous communities. It’s a time to take stock of the historical injustices suffered by Indigenous peoples in residential schools and to honor those who have suffered the consequences.

 It is sometimes called “Orange Shirt Day” because of the orange shirts worn by Indigenous rights activists when this holiday first began to be commemorated in 2013.

Residential schools were created as a means of assimilation and involved removing Indigenous children from their families and communities.

The day honors 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.

This federal statutory holiday was created through legislative amendments made by Parliament. Since its inception in 2021, September 30 is recognized as a legal holiday in Canada for federally regulated workplaces. It’s a direct response to the Call to Action 80 (of 94) from the Truth and Reconciliation report, which recommended a federal statutory day of commemoration. New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut have also declared Sept. 30 a statutory holiday, and British Columbia will do so starting this year.

Today, we mark this day to support the process of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.  

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