National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
This September 30th marks the third annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day. In 2021, following decades of Indigenous-led advocacy, the Government of Canada declared September 30 the “National Day for Truth and Reconciliation”. The declaration responds to Action 80 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which calls for the creation of a statutory day “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.”
For Indigenous colleagues and members, a reminder of support services:
- The KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides an Indigenous-specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's toll-free and can be reached at 1-800-588-8717
- The First Nations Health Authority offers support specifically for survivors and families who have been directly impacted by the Indian Residential School system
September 30th was chosen as it was the time of year that the Indian Agents came to take Indigenous children away from their families. The Indian Residential School system was just one of several systemic colonial tactics the government and church used to try to forcefully assimilate Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island (colonially known as North America). Indigenous communities have been advancing resistance against such assimilationist tactics for decades. September 30th is a day to honour that resistance and stand in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples. We encourage you to learn more about this important day, reflect, and commit to acts of reconciliation.
Learning Resources for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
- Listen to a podcast series that follows four students who went to Kuper Island residential school.
- Read about what it is like to bring the dead children from the unmarked graves home
- Watch the Sacred Fire Exercise by the Indian Residential School Survivor Society
- Learn more about the career and legacy of Dr. Peter Henderson Bryce
- Listen to a podcast about nutritional experiments done on Indigenous children in residential schools
- Read about resistance to residential schools
- Take the free Indigenous Canada course offered by the University of Alberta
HSA is proud of the steps towards reconciliation that were achieved in the last round of bargaining which includes articles and memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on Indigenous cultural and bereavement leaves, and Indigenous specific recruitment and retention. We respectfully acknowledge that a long journey to actualizing the calls from Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, In Plain Sight, and Reclaiming Power and Place remains.