National Day for Truth & Reconciliation
“We are committed to active listening, prayer and right action as we journey with our Indigenous Sisters and Brothers in a spirit of Truth and Reconciliation.”
Patrick J. Daly, President, Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association
September 30th, 2022 marks the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Created as a response to Truth and Reconiliation Call to Action 80, this day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.
The creation of this federal statutory holiday was through legislative amendments made by Parliament. On June 3, 2021, Bill C-5, An Act to amend the Bills of Exchange Act, the Interpretation Act and the Canada Labour Code (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation) received Royal Assent. The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools. Since 2013 this date has been known as Orange Shirt Day – an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours the children who survived Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not.
This day relates to the experience of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, on her first day of school, where she arrived dressed in a new orange shirt, which was taken from her. It is now a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
Please click on the box below for additional background and resource information:
On September 30, all Canadians are encouraged to wear orange to raise awareness of the very tragic legacy of residential schools, and to honour the thousands of Survivors.
Catholic school boards across Ontario are recognizing this day and deepening local understanding on this topic through various initiatives througout this week and this year – see details below:
The Kenora Catholic District School Board is unveiling a new Orange Shirt Day Logo this year that was designed by recent STAHS graduate Kitana Blackhawk. Read more…
We continue to add online resources to our Indigenous education landing page, please check here for some ready-made lesson plans, activities and information that may be helpful in your planning https://sites.google.com/necdsb.ca/ncdsb-indigenous-education/resources/orange-shirt-day
The schools in the Waterloo Catholic District School Board are situated on the Haldimand tract of land that is the traditional home of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe and Neutral People. We acknowledge the enduring presence and deep traditional knowledge, laws and philosophies of the Indigenous Peoples with whom we share this land today.
Sudbury Catholic schools will be participating in Truth and Reconciliation activities and educational sessions planned by the NCTR. The theme of this year’s week is Remembering the Children. Students will learn about the history of the residential school system and memorialize the children that were lost.
- This year includes an expanded program with age-appropriate material for students in grades 1 through 12.
- Days 1 to 3 feature pre-recorded videos and a live Q & A session. On September 30, students will be able to view a live televised broadcast for Orange Shirt Day from their classrooms.
- All sessions will be held virtually on Hubilo.
Truth, Resiliency and Hope Event
Some students and staff will attend the Truth, Resiliency and Hope event planned by the Indigenous Community Collective. The event is occurring at Bell Park in Sudbury on September 30. The event commemorates survivors of Residential schools and acknowledges their resiliency. The event will begin with a sunrise ceremony and opening remarks. There will also be a play entitled Debwewin (Truth) and a short video screening. The event will end with a question-and-answer session.
Walk for Reconciliation
Staff at the Central Board Office are invited to attend the Walk for Reconciliation on September 30th, 2022. This is a joint community event that begins at N’Swakamok Friendship Centre (110 Elm Street). The group will then walk together to Bell Park where they will attend the opening of the Truth, Resiliency and Hope event.
Orange Shirt Day in Honour of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
All students and staff are invited and encouraged to wear Orange Shirts on September 30 in honour of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
We need to focus on our action as educators. We will continue to learn and work together from a place of love, as we work towards the Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action as a Catholic system grounded in the foundation of Catholic Social Teaching.
When we think about the reconcili-ACTION that we are called to engage in this week, it is critically important to demonstrate signs of acknowledgement of true history and support while continuing to center Indigenous voices and present-day influencers. It can be easy to unintentionally slip into action that becomes performative in nature as we try to show our solidarity and support.
The Nipissing-Parry Sound CDSB has several activities planned througout the board to recognize Truth and Reconciliation Week and invite all to learn more about these activities here.
Niagara Catholic has created and sold Orange Shirt Day shirts for students and staff. Proceeds from the sale of these shirts will be shared between the Orange Shirt Day Society and the Woodland Cultural Centre.
Schools are doing many different things to recognize Orange Shirt Day throughout September and the week of September 26-30. Our system-wide event is described below:
September 26th — Beyond the Orange Shirt Story: Niagara Catholic, Meridian Credit Union and First Ontario Performing Arts Centre present an opportunity for Niagara Catholic students to hear an intergenerational perspective on the Indian Residential Schools. Guests Speakers include Phyllis Webstad (whose story is the “Orange Shirt Story”), Phyllis’ family, Dawn Hill, Roberta Hill, Willow Shawanoo, and Mitch Case. This session will be video broadcast to all Niagara Catholic Schools the week of September 30th.
Niagara Catholic’s Indigenous Lead has also been integral in organizing community events across September including:
September 26th 7:00 p.m. — Beyond the Orange Shirt Story—Survivors Speak — First Ontario Performing Arts Centre (St. Catharines) — tickets available through the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre — pay what you can at time of booking tickets. Book sale and signing.
September 27th 11:30 a.m. Rotary Luncheon honouring Survivors — Club Italia, Niagara Falls,
— Guest Speaker: Phyllis Webstad — $50/person purchase tickets in advance contact Carrie Zeffiro at firstname.lastname@example.org. Book sale and signing
September 28th 7:00 p.m. Drums Across Niagara — Oakes Garden Theatre, Niagara Falls, Canada. Join drummers and singers as voices carry across the great Niagara River. Oakes Garden Theatre, Niagara Falls, ON and Niagara Falls Observation Tower, Niagara Falls, NY.
Special tribute to Grandmother Lena Jack (Phyllis Webstad’s grandmother 1918—2019)
September 29th 6:00 p.m. TREATY—A Reconciliation Revelry concert — Niagara Parks Power Station
Special guest speakers, Phyllis Webstad, and Chief Hank Adam
September 30th sunrise (7:00 a.m.) Sunrise Ceremony and Ceremonial Fire — Niagara Parks Power Station
September 30th 10:00—11:00 a.m. Orange Shirt Day Recognition of Survivors — Niagara Parks Power Station
Special guest speakers, Phyllis Webstad, Chief Fred Robbins, and special guests Visit CP Rail’s “Every Child Matters” locomotive parked on the escarpment rail tracks above the Falls.
September 30th 8:00 p.m. Niagara Falls turns orange every hour for 15-minute segments
September 30th 10:00pm Niagara Parks Commission fireworks display.
October 1st Niagara Regional Native Centre Powwow—Meridian Centre—St. Catharines
National Truth and Reconciliation Week (September 26-30, 2022) provides an opportunity to focus on current realities for Indigenous Peoples. Recognizing the truth is a step needed to achieve the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the DCDSB is committed to this learning. We recognize that more work needs to be done and as a society, we need to educate ourselves on the tragic wrongs and unjust acts that have been and continue to be committed towards Indigenous peoples.
At the DCDSB, we walk the path together with the Indigenous Education Circle, Student Indigenous Education Circle, Indigenous community partners, students and families and pledge to continue our learning in support of the truth and reconciliation. We hope through our collaborative work to support a positive future where the history, contribution, and excellence of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people is known and embraced by all.
For September 30, student voice and learning about truth and reconciliation has been centered in a video titled DCDSB Student Learning About Truth & Reconciliation, which can be viewed at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqBudDMsRp8
The Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB) has compiled resources for educators and students which are useful for further learning throughout the year. Many of these resources can be found on our comprehensive Indigenous Education webpage which features supports, resources, and information for further learning.
September 26th to September 30th marks a week-long focus on Truth and Reconciliation here at the CDSBEO. We remember Indigenous children who were sent to residential schools never to return home. We honour Residential School Survivors, their families, communities, and all affected by the residential school system.
Some of the many initiatives to commemorate the week-long focus of Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day include (click image to read more):
Through the Dufferin-Peel CDSB’s Indigenous Education Department, elementary staff are offered opportunities to participate in a series of sessions during National Truth and Reconciliation week.
September 26: What Does Truth and Reconciliation Mean?
Learning with Shannon Paul (Gr. K – 3)
September 27: What Does Truth and Reconciliation Mean?
Learning with Shannon Paul (Gr. 4-8)
The Dufferin-Peel CDSB will also share opportunities with educators to participate in a webinar series on:
September 26 covering topics including: Indigenous Language, Indigenous Stories and Books, Indigenous Heritage and Identity, Residential Schools, Indigenous Music & Songs and Dance and What can I do?
(For Grades 1-5)
September 27 covering topics including: Indigenous Language, Indigenous Stories and Books, Indigenous Heritage and Identity, and Residential Schools.
(For Grades 6-8)
DPCDSB has also provided educators and students the opportunity to attend virtually Gidinawendimin, on September 29.
(For Grades 5-12)
Additionally, the Dufferin-Peel CDSB will promote and participate in Orange Shirt Day on September 30.
(All students and staff)
The work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada has had a profound impact on education as we continue to unlearn and relearn our shared history. In the spirit of education for reconciliation, TRC Call to Action 63 iii identifies “building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect” as a gateway to new relationships. This body of work represents student learning at our board and a system approach to capacity building with the free national Truth and Reconciliation Week education program an important part of the path to reconciliation.”
September 26th -30th 2022 marks National Truth and Reconciliation Week at RCCDSB. This is the first time that the week will be commemorated as part of our new Vision Statement in which we strive to ‘Build a relationship with Indigenous communities founded on a deep respect for their identities, beliefs, and traditions to support healing and work toward reconciliation’.
Across our county, daily announcements and prayers can be heard throughout our schools which helps to focus on the importance of the week. Most of our schools with electronic signage will announce the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
Resources and professional learning opportunities from a multitude of organizations have been shared with staff. Educators have access to a variety of K-12 mentor texts and lesson plans about Residential Schools which they are encouraged to incorporate into their lessons not only during this week but all year long.
Friday, September 30th will see a Board-wide Orange Shirt Day coupled with many meaningful conversations and awareness assemblies which include Elders and Senators. Senior administration, principals, vice-principals, leads, and coordinators will gather to focus on professional learning surrounding the day. It is also important to note that on this day we will acknowledge the resiliency, beauty, and brilliance of Indigenous people as a means of reducing harm to the Indigenous families within our Board.
To honour the spirit of reconciliation throughout the year, schools will be displaying ‘Every Child Matters’ lawn signs which can also be used indoors during the winter months. Through the work of our Board Action Plan for Indigenous Education, RCCDSB will continue working on fostering relationships with local community and organizations as they partner to deliver key initiatives.
- All students and staff are invited and encouraged to wear Orange Shirts on September 30 in honour of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
- Morning prayer and announcements will take place on September 30, for all staff and students to build awareness of Orange Shirt Day.
- Schools will be planning a variety of different events and activities to recognize Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation throughout the week of September 26-30. A sample of one school’s activities to honour this week can be found here.
- Several schools across the board have created and/or purchased and sold Orange Shirt Day shirts for students and staff. Proceeds from the sale of these shirts will be donated to the Woodland Cultural Centre.
- Two Learning Management System (LMS) pages have been created, one for elementary and one for secondary teachers to access Indigenous related resources and to support the inclusion of Indigenous content in the classroom and increase awareness, understanding and appreciation of First Nations, Métis and Inuit histories, perspectives and ways of knowing. Teachers can also access these sites to find specific resources to support the planning and preparation of events and activities that will honour Orange Shirt Day and the National Day/Week of Truth and Reconciliation. A sample of these resources that can be found here.
- September 26th — Beyond the Orange Shirt Story: Niagara Catholic, Meridian Credit Union and First Ontario Performing Arts Centre present an opportunity for Niagara Catholic students, and other partnered schools/boards to hear an intergenerational perspective on the Indian Residential Schools. Guests Speakers include Phyllis Webstad (whose story is the “Orange Shirt Story”), Phyllis’ family, Dawn Hill, Roberta Hill, Willow Shawanoo, and Mitch Case. The HWCDSB will be sharing this video broadcast to all schools the week of September 30th.
- September 26th – September 30th – The HWCDSB schools will be participating in Truth and Reconciliation activities and educational sessions planned by the NCTR. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation released their event registration for reconciliation week, with extended programming for grades 1-12. See below for the information and link. This year, they expanded the program to include age-appropriate material for grades 1 through 12 centered around the theme ‘Remembering the Children.’ Over four days, they will be bringing Indigenous knowledge keeper voices to students across the country.
- Days 1-3 — September 26-28 — will feature a newly revised educational program with an hour of pre-recorded video content per day followed by live Q & A sessions.
- Day 4 — September 29 — of Truth and Reconciliation Week will feature Gidinawendimin – We Are All Related, an in-person event in Mississauga. The event will be broadcast live for classrooms to tune in from coast to coast to coast. Keep an eye out for more information.
- All sessions will be held virtually on Hubilo.
- Lawn signs stating ‘Every Child Matters’ in 20+ languages have been placed on school grounds.
- A secondary school has a Visual Instalment outside on their trees of orange lights, one for every child found to represent those who did not come home from residential schools.
- We have planned a week (unique for each day) that includes an announcement, a prayer, and an action supporting Truth and Reconciliation. All schools follow this plan to ensure district-wide content and consistency as we move forward together.
- We are having a district-wide read aloud – 3 texts that have been selected with accompanying activities. This will take place at every school.
- Secondary schools are hanging ‘Every Child Matters’ banners on their fences.
- Schools are invited to display ‘Every Child Matters’ flags inside their schools.
- On September 27, some students will make moccasins.
- On Sept 30, students and staff are encouraged to wear orange shirts and each school will have a liturgy to pray for reconciliation.
- Promoting the use of our land acknowledgement.
- We are using social media and the hashtag #
- All websites display a ‘Every Child Matters’ banner.
- We have placed ads in all local weeklies, including Six Nations, to share the knowledge of BHNCDSB support.
Schools across Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board are preparing to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Orange Shirt Day, on September 30, with a range of age-appropriate activities from assemblies to art installations, in the hope that it stirs truth and healing conversations, which will go well beyond just one day. READ MORE…