September 30: Truth and Reconciliation

September 30 is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a new federal statutory holiday. The day recognizes the colonial legacy of residential schools, honour Indigenous survivors, and is vital to the ongoing reconciliation process. This statutory holiday means federally regulated sectors such as banks will be closed in observance of the national day. As of yet, this is not a recognized statutory holiday in Ontario.


What is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation?

During the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, hard truths about the legacy of Residential Schools were brought to light. In the end, a list of 94 Calls to Action were produced, and Canadians everywhere were called to help ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again, and that the stories of these families are shared.

Call to Action # 80 – We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 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.

September 30 is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a new federal statutory holiday. The day recognizes the colonial legacy of residential schools, honour Indigenous survivors, and is vital to the ongoing reconciliation process.

This statutory holiday means federally regulated sectors such as banks will be closed in observance of the national day. As of yet, this is not a recognized statutory holiday in Ontario.

Why September 30th?

“The annual Orange Shirt Day on September 30th opens the door to global conversation on all aspects of Residential Schools. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind.  A discussion all Canadians can tune into and create bridges with each other for reconciliation.  A day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do those that have been affected.  Every Child Matters, even if they are an adult, from now on.

The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. It is an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.” – From the Orange Shirt Society

What are some ways that our Branches/SIGs can support Orange Shirt Day/September 30th?

The most important thing we can do on this day of commemoration is to amplify Indigenous voices. There are so many great organizations that are producing high-quality educational opportunities for people to participate in, both in-person and virtually.

We always recommend looking at local resources first, so check your local museum, archives, post-secondary schools, or municipal government websites. Many will be hosting events related to your geographic area, maybe even featuring people from local Indigenous communities.

If you aren’t able to find something local events to share with your members, here are some other resources that might be of interest:

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