National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Every child matters.

On Thursday, September 30, 2021, Canada recognizes the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day.

It is a day held in remembrance and recognition of the legacy of the residential school system in Canada. Huntington University, as an institute of higher education in Northern Ontario, will be closed to observe and mark the significance of this important day.

The discovery of unmarked graves on the properties of former residential school sites across this country is a stark reminder that there remains a story not fully told to all of us.

Reconciliation begins with acknowledging the truth, including our country’s history, when it comes to Indigenous peoples and the long-term impacts resulting from residential schools, colonialism and systemic racism.

Let this time be another call for us to listen and act for right relations as we remember all the survivors and families, as well as the children and youth who never made it home.

On this first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation here are some ways to learn about the past and current realities faced by Canada’s Indigenous peoples, and ways to take action:

Moment of silence at 2:15 p.m.

Observe a moment of silence at 2:15 p.m. on September 30th in remembrance of all the Indigenous children forced to attend residential schools across Canada who never made it home, including the 215 whose remains were discovered in Kamloops, B.C. in May 2021.

The Orange Shirt Story

Discover the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad and the reason September 30th has been declared Orange Shirt Day.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: 94 Calls to Action

Visit the National Truth and Reconciliation Centre website and read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: 94 Calls to Action.

Reading and Learning

Visit your local library to find books written by Indigenous authors, as well as stories to share with children about the history and legacy of Canada’s residential school system.


Consider making a donation to Indigenous-led organizations in your community, or at a provincial or national level.

  • Make a gift directly to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation or to one of the three NCTR funds: Na-mi-quai-ni-mak (I remember them) community support fund, Truth and Reconciliation Week fund, or the Imagine a Canada fund.

  • The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) is a national, Indigenous-led charitable organization that has existed for 20 years. The LHF’s goal is to educate and raise awareness about the history and long-lasting inter-generational impacts of the Residential School System, Sixties Scoop, Day School and other means of cultural oppression against Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) Survivors, their descendants, and their communities.

      • Donations to the Orange Shirt Society help Phyllis Webstad and the Orange Shirt Society raise awareness across Canada about the Indian Residential Schools and their continuing impacts on individuals, families and communities, and to promote the concept of "Every Child Matters".

      • The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) is founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote, and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations, Métis and Inuit women. NWAC is an aggregate of thirteen Native women’s organizations from across Canada and was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1974.

      • Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund contributes to reconciliation in Canada by supporting programs and events that serve to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and communities together.

      • The National Association of Friendship Centres is a network of over 100 Friendship Centres and Provincial/Territorial Associations, which make up part of the Friendship Centre Movement–Canada's most significant national network of self-determined Indigenous owned and operated civil society community hubs offering programs, services and supports to urban Indigenous people. 

      Miigwetch, thank you.

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