National Day for Truth and Reconciliation - September 30
- The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is marked as a Canadian statutory holiday. This means many of you will have the chance to take the day to reflect on truth and reconciliation and on the genocidal legacy of Canada’s Indian Residential School System.
Below is a list of events that are happening that you can participate in if you choose, and actions that you can take to increase your own understanding, or to further the call to action of elected officials on matters pertaining to public policy and truth and reconciliation.
Online Events (from anywhere):
How to watch and listen to National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on CBC on September 30. Link will be updated when available.
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is hosting virtual lunch and learn sessions throughout National Truth and Reconciliation week. These daily lunch sessions feature a range of speakers, topics, and opportunities for questions. The sessions run at 10:30-11:20 am PDT, at the same time across the country. More information is available on the NCTR webpage. Registration is free.
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation invited people across the world to simultaneously drum for the missing children of Indian residential schools on the first-ever National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, September 30, 2021. The time, 2:15 pm, was chosen to signify the 215 children found on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in May of 2021. Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc encourages everyone to learn the Secwepemc Honour Song, which can be accessed on YouTube.
Lex̱éywa Art Activism and the Ray and Millie Silver Library offers a wide range of resources highlighting Indigenous content and perspectives, including recalling a residential school experience. There are online and hardcopy items available.
Lex̱éywa Art Activism
In-Person Events in Vancouver:
- Orange T-shirt Day hosted by Nisga'a Ts'amiks Vancouver Society at Trout Lake: The event honours the lost children and survivors from the Indian Residential Schooling system on Saturday, September 30, 2023, for National Day of Truth and Reconciliation Day. Vendors who are non-commercial in nature that support Indigenous health, services, advocacy, education and justice are welcome to be on site with us. Everyone is welcome at this event.
- September 30, 2023, starting at 1:00 pm
- Trout Lake Community Centre in John Hendry Park (3360 Victoria Drive, Vancouver)
- Event is outdoors and will take place rain or shine!
- More information
- Orange Shirt Day Commemoration Event at Frog Hollow: Come together with the community for a meaningful commemoration of Orange Shirt Day, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We will honor the children and their families while raising awareness of the inter-generational impacts of Indian residential schools.
- Join us for Indigenous speakers, drummers, storytelling, smudging, healing medicines, learning resources, and refreshments.
- We will also invite you to share your voices and collaborate on creating a community banner during the event. This banner will be carried on Sept 30 for the Orange Shirt Day march in town.
- Thursday, Sept 28, 2023, from 3:00 - 6:00 pm
- 2131 Renfrew St., Vancouver - Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House
- Inquiries: Email WS@FrogHollow.bc.ca or visit the website here.
- Friendship Walk and Gathering at Grandview Park in recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
- 9:30 am - Assemble outside of the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre 1719 Franklin Street
- 10:00 am - Friendship Walk to Grandview Park 1657 Charles St
- 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm - Sharing food (Elders and survivors served first)
- Note: Out of respect for the day, there will be no vending. If you would like to share songs and stories, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For volunteer opportunities please contact email@example.com
- More information
- Culture Days has set September 30, 2023 aside to create space exclusively for events organized to commemorate the NDTR, including those aimed at sharing First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit experiences and perspectives and uplifting the creative and cultural expressions of Indigenous people and communities. Find online and in-person events here.
- Orange Shirt Day events at UBC, including an Intergenerational March, speakers, and traditional performances, to commemorate Orange Shirt Day. The event is hosted by the UBC Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre Canada.
- Starts at 11:00 am on September 30, 2023
- UBC's Main Campus (Point Grey, Vancouver)
- More information is available here.
- National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at Arts Umbrella: students, families, friends, and staff are invited and encouraged to come together on September 30, 2023, for a meaningful day of reflection and education. Activities and talks will be age-appropriate and led by Indigenous artists and knowledge keepers. More information here!
- Truth and Reconciliation Day: Workshop with Shaina Stephens - Join the Museum of Vancouver for an activity and open conversation about all aspects of residential schools; bring your stories, ready ears, and ready hands. In the spirit of the story told by spokesperson and former student, Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, of her first day when her shiny new orange shirt, a gift from her grandmother, was taken from her as a six-year-old girl, we invite you to make your own orange shirt with us, stencils, and paint to bring home. More information and tickets!
In-Person Events in the Greater Vancouver Area:
- MONOVA is honoured to welcome Chief Dr. Robert Joseph to North Vancouver to encourage dialogue and learning around the ongoing work of Reconciliation. Join us as Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, O.B.C., hereditary chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, shares reflections on his recent book, Namwayut – We Are All One: A Pathway to Reconciliation. September 14, 2023, starting at 6:30 pm. Tickets range from $25-$30. Find more information here.
- Join Siamtnaat & Milnitdi Sheryl Rivers for this special Cultural Knowledge Sharing, with Tales of Raven, the mischievous cultural hero of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) people, who brings about important community growth. Cultural and historical knowledge will be shared in a storytelling format, with diverse topics including Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) history, the Indian Act in Canada, Sacred Canoe Journeys, and North Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Residential School. September 16, 2023, from 12:00 - 2:00 pm. Find more information here.
- On the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, MONOVA is holding events to engage and promote learning through hands-on activities designed to inspire reflection and meaningful dialogue for guests of all ages. September 30, 2023, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is by donation. Find more information here.
- Place des Arts is hosting Christine Mackenzie this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, 2023. Last year, Christine presented and facilitated a powerful afternoon of sharing art that was appreciated by families of all ages. Christine will be back again to share her unique art perspective around the importance of the cedar bough through a drawing and painting activity. The event is held in Coquitlam, from 1:00 - 4:30 pm. Register here.
- Chowiyes-Xwithet/Rise Up - Wake Up: The gathering will honour the shxweli (“life spirit”) of children lost to residential schools, survivors, and their families. “The focus is two-fold.” said the Indigenous Project Lead, Dr. Lolehawk Laura Buker, “First, we are recognizing truth and reconciliation, the remembrance and the healing going forward. Second, we are celebrating our house of learning. Last year we placed a basket above the entrance to the Gathering Place. This year we will reaffirm all the teachings held within that basket, and why is it above the door. Then we have our new song: Stam qwe seliw i te Sitel? / What is in the Basket?” The event is on September 28, 2023, from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm. To register and for more information, click here!
- Story Blanket with Fraser River Indigenous Society: A family drop-in program for children, emphasizing Indigenous teachings like the Medicine Wheel and Seven Sacred Teachings. The events feature storytelling, play, arts, and elder guidance. Dates range from September to December. More information is available here.
- The Squamish Lil'Wat Cultural Centre is hosting an event honouring the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Everyone is welcome to attend, experience, and connect with immersive programming and storytelling of Skwxwú7mesh and Líl̓wat7úl-the living culture of the original people of the shared territory where Whistler resides. It features guest speakers, Spo7ez cultural sharing, carving demonstrations, and immersive crafts. There will also be First Nations-inspired cuisine, handcrafted art, and keepsakes.
- September 30, 2023, starting at 10:00 am
- Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre: 4584 Blackcomb Way, Whistler
- Free admission, more information
- National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Teaching Pow Wow: Voices of our Children:
- Activities include a host drum by StarChild, dancing by Wild Moccasin Dancers, and Indigenous vendors
- September 30, 2023, from 12:00 - 4:00 pm
- Westminster Pier Park, 1 6th St., New Westminster
- Free admission, more information
1. Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Reports and Calls to Action.
2. Familiarize yourself with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
*3. Sign on to the Change.Org petition created by BCTF members Rick Joe and Peggy Janicki.
4. Find out what First Nations Territory you reside on and make a point of Acknowledging it.
5. Understand the symbolism of the orange shirt.
6. What is Orange Shirt Day? A refresher for all ages.
7. Read the updated Status of the TRC Calls to Action on Child Welfare and Education.
8. Read Indigenous authors and watch Indigenous movies, buy Indigenous-made gifts, listen to podcasts and follow Indigenous news sources. Resources Include:
- The Legacy of Duncan Campbell Scott: More Than Just a Canadian Poet
- Project of Heart
- Historica Canada: Indigenous History
- VSO Indigenous Council
- The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund
- Red Women Rising: Indigenous Women Survivors in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside
- Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
- Public Media Fund and Creative Shorts Fellowship Award Recipients
- Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art
- Indigenous Lens: Shorts from the National Film Board
9. Visit Indigenous Restaurants and Establishments:
- Salmon & Bannock
- A local restaurant that specializes in Indigenous cuisine, incorporating organic and free-range game meat, and local wild seafood. Their menu includes selections such as pemmican mousse, bison pot roast, and an urban smoked salmon burger.
- Thunderbird Cafe
- A Cafe located in the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre that features an Indigenous-inspired menu, with selections such as cedar plank Squamish chowder and homemade Lil’wat venison chili.
- Mr. Bannock Indigenous Cuisine
- A food truck run by the talented and personable Paul Natrall, selling items such as classic bannock tacos.
Every Child Matters! Learn to Bead with Chantal Dustyhorn. Show your support everyday with a Orange Shirt Beaded lapel pin
September 24, 2023 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Location: Rink Mezz, Britannia Community Centre
Note: Registration is full, but a waitlist is available for this event.
Salish Singing and Drumming Workshop
Join us on Wednesday, September 27th for a Salish Singing and Drumming workshop! This is a free workshop features Russell Wallace, a composer, producer, and traditional Lil’wat singer.
Date and Time: September 27, 2023, from 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Location: SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings St., Vancouver (Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre for Performing Arts)
Cost: Free registration
This event is co-presented by SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement and SFU's Office for Aboriginal Peoples. At Simon Fraser University, we live and work on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), q̓íc̓əy̓ (Katzie), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Qayqayt, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and Tsawwassen peoples.