Saturday September 30, 2023 | LANGFORD, BC
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
Today September 30 is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation across Canada.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland posted on X (Twitter) today: “On the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we honour the Survivors and the children who never returned home from residential schools—as we continue working to advance meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples across Canada.”
Federal NDP House Leader Peter Julian posted on X (Twitter) today: “Today, Canadians are pausing to reflect on the country’s painful history & the ongoing impacts of residential schools. On the #NationalDayforTruthAndReconciliation we honour the children who never returned home, Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.”
The BC NDP caucus posted a group photo of everyone wearing orange shirts as part of recognizing the September 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. A statement was issued from Premier David Eby and Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation:
“Today in BC and throughout Canada, we recognize the survivors and intergenerational survivors of Indian Residential Schools. We also recognize survivors of Indian Day Schools, Indian Hospitals, and the Sixties Scoop. We remember the children who never came home. This year, with the unanimous support of all parties in the legislature, BC enshrined the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation into provincial law. On this new statutory day of commemoration, people throughout the province come together to honour the strength, resilience and healing journeys of survivors and their families.”
And on social media today:
- Premier David Eby posted on X (Twitter): “Today in BC and throughout Canada, we recognize and honour the survivors and intergenerational survivors of Indian Residential Schools. We remember the children who never came home.”
- Mitzi Dean, MLA (Esquimalt-Metchosin) posted on X (Twitter): “This year, B.C. established Sept. 30 as a statutory day – #NationalDayforTruthandReconciliation, also known as #OrangeShirtDay. Let’s come together in community to honour the survivors of residential schools and remember the children who never came home.”
- Ravi Parmar, MLA (Langford-Juan de Fuca) posted on X (Twitter): “It’s deeply moving to see people from all walks of life, whether at their workplaces, the grocery store, or taking their kids to soccer practice, donning orange today for National Truth & Reconciliation Day. It signifies our collective journey towards truth and healing.”
Other comments on this 2023 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:
- The BC Legislature posted on X (Twitter): “On this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, #BCLeg honours the survivors of residential schools and the children who never returned home. Today, and every day, we’re committed to taking meaningful action towards reconciliation.” #NDTR #OrangeShirtDay #EveryChildMatters
- The BC United Caucus posted on X (Twitter): “This #OrangeShirtDay, we recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Join us in listening to Indigenous voices, working towards meaningful reconciliation, and working together to help shape a better future by working to achieve opportunity and prosperity for all.” | BC United Leader Kevin Falcon posted: “Today, on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we come together to reflect on the ongoing impact of residential schools. It’s our shared responsibility to confront the legacy of residential schools, so we can truly move forward & build a better, united future for all.”
- The BC Greens posted today: “Today requires all of us to spend some time reflecting and asking ourselves, “What comes next?” “
- Former BCTF President Teri Mooring posted a “Dont’ Call Me Resilient” podcast link on X (Twitter) today, with this comment: “This is an excellent podcast the latest episode is an important one for today. It speaks to the truth of residential schools, the role of allies, and the education system.”
- The Community Social Planning Council of Victoria posted online today: “Today, we acknowledge the past, honour Indigenous resilience, and commit to a future built on #TruthAndReconciliation.”
- Team Broken Earth posted: “Today is an opportunity. To honour Indigenous communities everywhere, uplift Indigenous voices, and acknowledge the realities of residential schools. We can all do our part to ensure a better tomorrow, for everyone.”
- Sooke School District 62 (SD62) posted on September 28: “We honour and offer space for survivors, missing children, their families and the communities affected by the residential schooling system. It is our responsibility to learn from the atrocities and systemic violence committed against Indigenous peoples.”
- The District of Sooke posted online today: “Today, our #community will gather at the @VI_library in #Sooke at 11am to honour National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We honour the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities.”
- City of Colwood Councillor Ian Ward posted on X (Twitter): “Today I reflect on the atrocities committed against First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. #everychildmatters “
- Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke posted on X (Twitter): “Today I reflect on the what has transpired against First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada over the last 100+ years, and look every day for paths forward for all who call Canada home.”
As more awareness and information about residential schools has come to light, in 2021 the federal government designated September 30 as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. In 2023, National Truth and Reconciliation week is September 25 to 30.
The date was declared a statutory federal holiday with the passage of Bill C-5 in June 2021, in response to one of the 94 Calls to Action of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The federal government says National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an important step in the reconciliation process, now being recognized and participated in across Canada.
The day provides an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, and to honour their survivors, their families and communities.
Wearing orange on September 30 is a way of honouring the work of National Truth and Reconciliation.
- What have you done or what are you planning to do differently?
- What is your contribution to truth-telling?
- Which truths have you surfaced or told and how have you gone about addressing this head-on and/or reconciling it?
- How are you holding others accountable to truth-telling so things can be reconciled?
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
- Government of Canada, Marking the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
- Government of Canada, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
- Beyond 94: Truth and Reconciliation in Canada
- The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
Available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their Residential school experience.