September 30 has been federally designated the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, as per the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action #80. This day honours the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families, and the resiliency of their communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (also referred to as Orange Shirt Day) provides an opportunity for reflection, education, and to listen to and amplify Indigenous voices and communities. It is a day to engage in commemorative events, to make space for meaningful conversation, and to reflect upon how we may support reconciliation efforts individually, as organizations, and as a sector.

We hope some of the events and resources collected below assist you in your learning and honouring of Indigenous people.

1) Grandmother’s Voice

Grandmother’s Voice is a body of unified Indigenous people creating a safe, secure community that advances education, knowledge, understanding of Indigenous cultures and practices. All individuals, corporations, organizations in public, private and non-profit sectors are welcome to stand shoulder to shoulder with Indigenous Peoples.  It is by sharing the knowledge of the Ancestors and their offerings that we discover a new kind of HOPE.

Learn from the wisdom of these knowledge keepers by participating in the following Ontario Culture Days Festival events:

Understanding Truth & Reconciliation: 94 Calls to Action

Virtual: Wednesday, September 29 at 7:30 – 8:30pm | Register here.
Halton Hills Public Library – Georgetown Branch, Halton Hills: Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation

In this event, Grandmother’s Voice will shine a light on education as a pathway to reconciliation for people of all ages, offering Canadians “from all walks of life . . . a new way of living together” to build lasting, respectful relationships today and for future generations.

Star Journey Home: A Walk of Remembrance with Grandmother’s Voice

In-person, wherever you are: Thursday, September 30 at 3:00 – 5:00pm
Country Heritage Park, Milton: Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee people

An Ontario Culture Days registered event by Arts Milton, Grandmother’s Voice invites the public to a “Walk for Remembrance” in honour of the children and survivors.

Planting our Seeds with Grandmothers Voice

Virtual: available anytime | Access episodes here
Town of Oakville: Treaty lands and traditional territory of the Mississaugas, Neutral, Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee

To learn more about this land’s treaty history and celebrate the active agreements these treaties seek to protect, the Town of Oakville sought guidance from local Indigenous leaders, including Grandmothers Voice. The result is a series of eight free public conversations about practical directions and best practices relating to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

2) Woodland Cultural Centre: Truth & Recognition presentation

Virtual programming for schools and organizations: ongoing Sept 20-30, public Truth & Recognition presentation on Thursday, September 30 at 2:00 – 3:30pm | Register here
Woodland Cultural Centre, Brampton: Treaty Territory of the Mississauga’s of the Credit First Nation

Woodland Cultural Centre serves to preserve and promote Indigenous history, art, language and culture. Please visit their website for resources and information about Orange Shirt Day and their Save The Evidence Campaign. The goal of the Truth & Reconciliation presentation is to raise awareness of the tragic history of the residential school system. It examines the history and policies that lead to the creation of the Residential Schools, their legacies, how they have impacted Indigenous people, and why truth and reconciliation are important.

3) Roundtable of Algonquin Leaders on Truth and Reconciliation and Museums

Virtual: Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at 5:30pm – 7:00pm | Register here
The Bytown Museum & Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, Ottawa: un-ceded Algonquin Anishinabe territory

This free webinar will be introduced and moderated by Robin Etherington, Executive Director of the Bytown Museum, and the participants/speakers will be Chief Wendy Jocko and Councillor Merv Sarazin of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation and Anita Tenasco and Sylvia Morin of the Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg.

4) National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: Truth and Reconciliation Week

Virtual: ongoing from Monday, September 27 – Friday, October 1 | Register here
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, University of Manitoba: Original lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene peoples, and homeland of the Métis Nation

This national event will include important conversations about the truths of the Indigenous treaties, First Nation, Métis and Inuit land claims, and the residential schools system. This online event will provide historical workshops, exclusive video content, and activities for students — all supported by artistic and cultural performances by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists.

Day 1 – Land and Treaties
Day 2 – Languages and Culture
Day 3 – Truth and Reconciliation
Day 4 – Orange Shirt Day
Day 5 – Elder-Youth Knowledge Transfer

5) Orange Shirt Day “Every Child Matters” Virtual Honouring

Virtual: Wednesday, September 29 at 12:45 – 1:45pm | Register here
Diversity and Inclusion Network, Saskatchewan: Treaty 4 land, traditional territory of the Métis Nation

In honour of the residential school children who did not make it home, survivors, descendants and their communities, this virtual event is proudly presented by the Diversity and Inclusion Network. The session will include inspiring speakers such as Elder Lorna Standingready and Chief Cadmus Delorme; video clips from Cyclist, B’yauling Toni’s tours of Saskatchewan residential schools; and, traditional First Nation and Métis performances!

6) National Arts Centre: Indigenous Theatre’s Days of Truth and Reconciliation

Indigenous Allyship Workshop
Virtual: various times from Monday, September 27 – Wednesday, September 29
Grades 7-12

Ka-médog Wejababidom (Dani) Lanouette brings her “Guide on Interacting with Indigenous people and Topics Online” to a live workshop for students and teachers to gain a better understanding of Indigenous issues and how to be a better ally to Indigenous folks. Open to schools and organizations.

Beyond Land Acknowledgements
Virtual: Tuesday, September 28 at 12:00pm | Grades 11-12

Looking beyond the templates and hollow statements to dive deeper into the purpose of land acknowledgements, this virtual workshop will address the responsibility of non-Indigenous folks and artistic institutions when honouring the lands that we live and work on.

7) Orange Shirt Day 2021 resources and videos

Harbourfront Centre, Toronto: traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples

Harbourfront Centre has created and gathered so many useful resources like a Teacher’s Resource Guide, Visual Arts Step by Step: Classroom Community Mobile, and online classes & videos from Grades 1-12. Watch the “What is Orange Shirt Day?” video and share it with the young people in your life!

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