National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, commonly recognized as Orange Shirt Day, dedicated to honouring the memory of those impacted by the Canadian residential school system.
The significance of the orange shirt traces back to Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, a former residential school student. On her initial day at the school, her grandmother's gift of an orange shirt was confiscated, symbolizing a loss of identity and culture.
Canadians are encouraged to express their solidarity with residential school survivors by wearing orange shirts (and other orange attire). Canadians are also encouraged to actively participate in the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by deepening their understanding of residential schools and their enduring impact.
For those seeking to expand their knowledge about this federal statutory holiday and its historical context, here is a compilation of online resources:
Former residential school students can call 1-866-925-4419 for emotional crisis referral services Government of Canada.