NATIONAL DAY FOR TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION AND ORANGE SHIRT DAY
September 30, 2023
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was first observed in 2021.
Orange Shirt Day is a grassroots commemorative day that was created in 2013 by Phyllis Webstad who is Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek Indian Band) and a residential school survivor.
Whether it is called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation or Orange Shirt Day, the day recognizes and honours the children who never returned home, the survivors of residential schools, and the families and communities who were forever impacted by the forcible separation of children from their homes. During the separation of children from their homes and communities, they were forbidden and punished for speaking their own languages and retaining any vestiges of their Indigenous heritages and cultures.
As part of the public commemoration of the painful history and impacts of residential schools, people across Canada are encouraged to wear orange to honour the Indigenous peoples and communities who suffered at the hands of this government and church endorsed system.
Across the country, hundreds of activities will commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools.
Spotlight on Concordia's EV and AD buildings
Concordia participates in Light the Country Orange headed by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR). The initiative encourages communities across Canada to light the exterior of their buildings orange to honour the Indigenous children sent to residential schools in Canada.
Concordia’s EV and AD buildings will be illuminated in orange light on September 30 from 7 to 11:30 p.m.
Concordia's website will also be "turned orange" from 12:00 a.m. - 11:59 p.m. September 30 in recognition of this day.
SGW Campus EV building
Loyola Campus AD building
Events and activities
Since Orange Shirt Day falls on a Saturday this year, we invite you to join us throughout the week leading up to National Day of Truth and Reconciliation (September 25 - 29) for a series of activities and opportunities to share and learn.
The recommendations offer a comprehensive roadmap for addressing historical injustices, fostering reconciliation, and building bridges among communities. By embracing these recommendations, you can be a part of the change we all wish to see in our world.
Concordia’s senior director of Indigenous Directions, Manon Tremblay, anêhiyaw iskwêw (Plains Cree woman) shares her great-grandfather’s story who tamed and sold wild horses to local farmers and labourers at a time when Indigenous people couldn’t leave the reserve without travel documents.
We would like to acknowledge that Concordia University is located on unceded Indigenous lands. The Kanien’kehá:ka Nation is recognized as the custodians of Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, the lands and waters on which we gather today.
As we commemorate National Truth and Reconciliation Day on September 30, let us embark on a collective journey of enlightenment, solidarity, and reconciliation.