On September 30 (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation), we take the opportunity to recognize and commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, and to honor their survivors, their families and communities.
You can show your support to the Indigenous community in many ways, such as:
Show your support through an Orange Shirt
On September 30, show your support by wearing an Orange Shirt. Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event. It originated from Phyllis (Jack) Webstad’s story of having her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission. September 30 also signifies the time of year when Indigenous children was taken away from their homes to residential schools. By wearing an Orange Shirt, this creates an opportunity to have meaningful discussion on the effects of Residential Schools and to discuss why every child matters.
Learnings through University of Alberta’s Indigenous Canada Course
The University offers a free online course that provides a history of the Indigenous people. This 12 module course can be taken at your own pace or you can share your learnings with a cohort. Topics in the course includes Indigenous Women, Land Claims and Environment Impacts, Legal Systems and Rights. By deepening our understanding of the Indigenous people, their history and culture, we can take part in creating changes and actions for a better future.
Conversation through Carleton University and Center for Indigenous Initiatives
The Center for Indigenous Initiatives and Department of Social Work invite you to a conversation with residential school survivors to reflect on truth and reconciliation in Canada. Panellists include Senator Mary Jane McCallum, Elder Irene Barbeau and Elder Thomas Louttit. Be sure to sign up for this online event here.
Edmonton and Online Events
September 27 – October 1: A week of free online programming for students, teachers and general public. Conversations with Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Survivors and the children of Survivors of residential schools on topics such as Land and Treaties, Languages and Culture and Orange Shirt Day. Register here.
September 30: Every Child Matter Run and Walk, this event will raise funds for the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and local grassroots movements. Register here.