National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 2023

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 2023: Reflecting and learning

September 30th is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day.

The day is about taking time for reflection and to come together in the spirit of reconciliation to honour those who have been impacted by Canada’s residential school system. The findings of the unmarked graves at former residential schools illuminates the need to promote awareness so that this tragic history and ongoing impact is not forgotten. It is about honouring Indian Residential School Survivors and the ones that we have lost along the way like Chanie Wenjack. Chanie was an Anishinabbe First nations boy who ran away from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora, Ontario, and died of exposure while trying to walk 600 kms home from a residential school. This journey of reconciliation is a lifelong relationship that needs to be nourished and cherished, with clear communication, kindness, and honesty.

Why Orange Shirts?

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in the spring of 2013. It grew out of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad’s story of having her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually.

You can read Phyllis’ story at

Why September 30th

The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools, and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.

Here are some things to do in Calgary to honour National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:

 Things to Do to Honour National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Calgary, What is Open & Closed on Sept 30th | To Do Canada