National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Vancouver Events 2023

Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

September 30th marks the third official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day to recognize and reflect on the legacy of residential “schools” in Canada. As of 2023, this is now also a stat holiday in BC. Below you’ll find a list of events around Metro Vancouver as well as additional actions and resources.

Events | Actions | Resources | Orange Shirt Day History

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Events Around Vancouver 2022

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Events Around Vancouver

If you are looking for a way to commemorate and recognize this day of active listening, and action (on top of wearing an orange shirtwhich is a good start!) here are a few events in which you can participate around Metro Vancouver.

More events will be added throughout the month as they are announced. There are also online events and resources for schools during Truth and Reconciliation Week.

Every Child Matters Orange Shirt Day Truth and Reconciliation Miss604
Orange Shirts by KC Hall on sale at MAKE Vancouver on Granville Island. 100% of proceeds go to UNYA.

More Actions

You can donate to causes such as the IRSSS and Indigenous organizations in your community, like UNYA (Urban Native Youth Association), Nations Skate Youth, Justice for Girls. Support Indigenous-led businesses, check out Indigenous artists and exhibitions, visit cultural centres, and continue to honour and observe throughout the year.

Additional Resources

  • Learn about the impacts of the Indian Residential School system
    • Read about how Orange Shirt Day originates from the story of Phyllis Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation.
  • Read the TRC’s 94 recommendations
  • Contact your MPs and local officials
  • Actively listen to people of First Nations, Inuit and Métis backgrounds
  • Stand up to stereotypes, prejudice and systemic racism
  • Have conversations with your family and friends (even children)
  • Be respectful towards trauma survivors and elders
  • Support Indigenous-led community organizations
  • Be patient, empathetic and receptive (it’s distressing for everyone)
  • Raise awareness in your community and online (wear orange)
  • For support:
    • IRSSS Toll-Free Line: 1-800-721-0066 (24-Hours)
    • National Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
    • KUU-US Crisis Line: 1-800-588-8717
    • Tsow-Tun-Le Lum: 1-888-403-3123

History of National Truth and Reconciliation Day

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. 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.”

Related: 2023 Reconciliation Award Recipients

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2 Comments  —  Add a Comment Below

  1. Brant KarmenMonday, September 11th, 2023 — 11:42am PDT

    Thank you for publishing this information. I found it educational and am grateful to learn more about indigenous history through Phyllis Webstad’s video!
    The compliled list of events is useful so I can choose an event near me to participate and learn more.
    THANKS!!!

  2. PhilThursday, September 28th, 2023 — 12:42pm PDT

    Observing a day of mourning allows a nation to come together in solemn reflection on significant losses or historical tragedies, fostering a sense of unity and shared empathy. It provides an opportunity for collective healing, acknowledgement of grief, and a deepened understanding of the past, which is crucial for building a more compassionate and resilient society. We literally gave a standing ovation in the parliament for literal n*zis the other day so this day of reconciliation is much needed.

    Phil.

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