National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
This year marks the first federally recognized National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
It is considered a statuatory holiday and will be held every September 30th from this year forward.
What does it commemorate?
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is designed to remember the Residential School system that existed in Canada for well over a century, and the impact it has had on the children who suffered through it and the Indigenous communities it largely affected.
From the early 1800s go the 1970s, many Indigenous children were forced to go to these schools by the White government in order to eradicate their Indigenous culture (a cultural genocide). The children were abused in many different ways and the effects of that abuse are still felt by many of the survivors, and the loved ones of those survivors. It is a dark stain on Canadian history.
Observances for this holiday have been held since 2013. However, due to the 2021 discovery of over 1,000 unmarked graves near former residential school sites all over Canada, it was decided that this should officially become a day to remember all the pain and hardships these children went, and are continuing as adults, to go through.
How do you observe this holiday?
On September 30, it is encouraged that all Canadians wear an orange shirt to raise awareness of the very tragic legacy of residential schools, and to honour the thousands of Survivors.
It is good for everyone to remember and reflect on the dark history that many Indigenous children, and their families, were forced to go through.
If you are unfamiliar with the history of residential schools then please click the link below. It is important that everyone in Canada learns about this part of our history.