September 30 is Orange Shirt Day, a grassroots campaign founded by Phyllis Webstad. Orange Shirt Day grew out of her own experiences and the experiences of other residential school survivors who attended St. Joseph’s Mission near Williams Lake, British Columbia. It’s a day to honour the healing journeys of residential school survivors and their families and a time to engage in meaningful discussions about the history and legacy of the residential school system.
Orange Shirt Day has become an important opportunity to open up dialogue on anti-racism and anti-bullying. This day is meant to also encourage deeper reflection, learning and public dialogue on the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
In June 2021, the Government of Canada passed Bill C-5 to name September 30 as a federal statutory day. It is observed as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This directly responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #80. Action #80 calls upon the federal government, in collaboration with Indigenous 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.”
We encourage you to also create time and space on September 30, and throughout the year, to reflect on the ways we can all participate in reconciliation.
Below are some suggested resources to assist you in this journey. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but it will help you get started. We are also providing a list of some events happening in the Lower Mainland area of BC.
- Walking Forward Together: Day of Learning
September 29th - in Abbotsford, BC Find out more here.
- National Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day Event
September 30th - in Mission, BC Find out more here.
- Reconciliation Powwow and Orange Shirt Day Parade/Walk
September 30 & October 1 - Chilliwack, BC Find out more here.
- We Stand With You through Truth and Reconciliation
September 30 - Memorial Peace Park, Maple Ridge Find out more here.
- Stal’ew’ PowWow
September 16th - 18th - Langley, BC Find out more here.
- Orange Shirt Day Event at Skwah First Nation
September 30th, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm (619 Wellington Avenue Chilliwack, BC)
- Young People’s award-winning play Frozen River by Carousel Theatre - Granville Island, Vancouver Find out more here. Purchase tickets here.
A poignant and powerful play about reconciliation, environmentalism, and interconnectedness, Frozen River (nîkwatin sîpiy) tackles meaningful issues through engaging storytelling, whimsical puppetry, and an age-appropriate narrative – suitable for children and youth of all ages (5+) – about the generational impact of our actions on the environment and our communities.
- National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at Westminster Pier Park
September 30 - New Westminster Find out more here.
- Come Toward The Fire at UBC Chan Theatre
September 17 - 18 - Vancouver Find out more here.
- Reconciliation Workshop with Charlene Seward
September 28 - New Westminster Find out more here.
- Walk in the Spirit of Reconciliation on May 26-28, 2023
Join MCC BC in this ecumenical event as we walk from Fort Langley to the site of St. Mary’s residential school in Mission, BC. Find out more here.
- Listen to the stories of residential school Survivors from A Day to Listen
- To MCC Canada's podcast, Honouring treaties with peacebuilding with Adrian Jacobs, Ganosono of the Turtle Clan, Cayuga Nation of the Six Nations Haudenosaunee Confederacy.
- To the song “We Won’t Forget You” by N’we Jinan Artists (Sk’elep School of Excellence in Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc, Kamloops): here.
- Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
- MCC's response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- Read Beyond 94
- Did you live near a residential school? Use this interactive map to learn about your area – Interactive Map
- Mapping the missing: Former residential school site in Canada and the search for unmarked graves
- Read the Legacy of Hope Foundation’s collection of stories from a wider spectrum of schools
- Visit orangeshirtday.org to watch the video and hear the full story about Phyllis Webstad and her experience. Watch other videos of Murray Sinclair and Kulpi7 Fred Robbins share about the impacts of Indian Residential School.
- Watch the CBC “Beyond 94” Videos
- Namwayut: we are all one. Truth and reconciliation in Canada
- Reserve 107: Reconciliation on the Prairies
- Wab Kinew’s 2-minute walk through 500 years of Indigenous history
- Separating children from parents: The Sixties Scoop in Canada
Contact Bridget Findlay, MCC BC Indigenous Neighbours Program Coordinator at 604-850-6639 or by email at email@example.com