This upcoming Saturday, September 30th, Wood River Internet commemorates the third National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. On this day, Canadians take time to contemplate the history and experiences of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities in our country.
It’s a day dedicated to recognizing, reflecting upon, and gaining an understanding of the injustices they endured due to the residential school system and how it still impacts Indigenous People in Canada.
This day provides an opportunity to pay tribute to the strength, dignity, and resilience of survivors and a moment to commemorate the children who were unable to return to their families.
Understanding the History of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is a relatively new addition to Canada’s calendar, officially recognized in 2021. This important day was established to acknowledge the historical and ongoing injustices faced by Indigenous peoples in Canada, particularly related to the residential school system.
The residential school system was a government-funded and church-run program that aimed to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture. It operated for over a century, from the 1870s to 1996, and had a profoundly negative impact on Indigenous communities. Children were forcibly taken from their families and communities, where they were often subjected to abuse, neglect, and the suppression of their Indigenous languages and cultures.
Recognizing the need to confront this painful history, “In June 2021, the Government of Canada passed Bill C-5 to make September 30 a federal statutory day. It is observed as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation” according to gov.bc.ca.
Wearing of Orange Shirts
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day falls on the same day, which honors the story of Phyllis Webstad, a former residential school student who had the orange shirt given by her grandmother and was taken away on her first day at residential school.
On September 30th, every year, people across Canada come together to participate in Orange Shirt Day to commemorate the impacts of residential schools and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”. The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom, and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
National Day For Truth And Reconciliation Day In Canada: Conclusion
In Canada, the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is a day to remember and reflect. While wearing orange represents the loss of freedom, self-esteem, and culture experienced by Indigenous children, it also serves as a symbol of healing and reconciliation and Wood River Internet is proud to be part of this important journey.