Each year, we acknowledge the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30.
The day honours the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities.
Orange Shirt Day also happens on September 30.
Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led, grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter-generational impacts of residential schools, and to promote the understanding that “Every Child Matters”. The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem that was experienced by Indigenous children over many generations.
On September 30, you can wear orange to honour the thousands of Survivors of residential schools.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its calls to action
There were 140 federally run residential schools in Canada that operated between 1867 and 1996. Survivors advocated for recognition and reparations and demanded accountability for the intergenerational impacts of harm caused.
Their efforts culminated in:
- the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement
- apologies by the government
- the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- the creation of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission ran from 2008 to 2015 and provided those directly or indirectly affected by the legacy of the residential schools policy with an opportunity to share their stories and experiences.
The Commission released its final report detailing 94 calls to action. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a direct response to Call to Action 80, which called for a federal statutory day of commemoration.
Mental health supports are available
Former residential school students can call 1-866-925-4419 for emotional crisis referral services and information on other health supports from the Government of Canada.
Indigenous peoples across Canada can also go to The Hope for Wellness Help Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for counselling and crisis intervention.
Office and Worksite Closure
To commemorate the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, the Town of Wolfville offices and worksites will be closed on Monday, October 2.