National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (TRC)
September 27, 2023
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September 27, 2023
Saturday, September 30, 2023, marks the third annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (TRC). National Day for TRC provides an opportunity to recognize and publicly commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools and honour the survivors, their families and communities.
National Day for TRC is also Orange Shirt Day. Orange Shirt Day was inspired by the experiences of Phyllis Jack Webstad, a survivor of the St. Joseph’s Indian Residential School in Williams Lake, British Columbia.
To commemorate National Day for TRC and Orange Shirt Day, Canadians can wear orange shirts to show solidarity for survivors and open the door to a global conversation on the history of residential schools and intergenerational trauma. The day provides an opportunity to have meaningful discussions about the effects of residential schools and their legacy in Canada.
CPLED is committed to reconciliation and honouring the significance of National Day for TRC. CPLED encourages our students and staff to be a part of the lifelong commitment to learning and to seek out resources to learn more about the history of residential schools. This learning requires listening, open minds, hearts, discipline, humility, respect and mindfulness.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation coincides with Orange Shirt Day, inspired by the experiences of Phyllis Jack Webstad, a survivor of the St. Joseph’s Indian Residential School in Williams Lake, B.C.
At the 2013 St. Joseph Mission Residential School Commemoration Project and Reunion event, Webstad recounted her experiences from her first day at the residential school when she was six years old. Upon arriving at St. Joesph’s, Webstad was stripped of all her clothing, including the new orange shirt her grandmother had given her. The shirt was never returned to her. Orange shirts worn on National Day for TRC now symbolize how the residential school system took away the indigenous identities of its students.
The date of September 30 was chosen as the annual date of recognition because it signifies the time of year in which Indigenous children were historically taken away from their homes and families and brought to residential schools.