September 29, 2023 – Tomorrow marks Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – an important day for Canadians to honour and remember the children who never returned home, Survivors of residential schools, and their families and communities. For there to be true reconciliation we must listen; we must seek out stories from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit knowledge keepers; we must reflect on the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples; and we must take action.
Every Canadian has a role to play in reconciliation.
Orange Shirt Day – celebrated in many schools today and everywhere tomorrow – is an important day named in recognition of a movement started by residential school survivor, Phyllis Webstad, a member of the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. On her first day at a residential school in Williams Lake, B.C., her new orange shirt was stripped from her and never seen again. By wearing orange, we declare that Every Child Matters, and we also commit to ending racism and bullying, especially in schools.
As part of the reconciliation process, all Canadians are compelled to commemorate the true history and legacy of residential schools across Canada – so that Phyllis’ story and the story of thousands of other children, too many of whom never came home, are never forgotten.
To find out more about what you can do to participate in reconciliation, visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: https://nctr.ca/education/coming-soon-truth-and-reconciliation-week-2023/trw2023-gen/