Home » TheSWEducator » National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Events and Educational Resources 

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Events and Educational Resources 

Thank you to all who shared the events and educational resources on National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. I will keep adding more resources to share with my students, so please feel free to e-mail okondrashov@tru.ca to add new events and educational resources

With respect


In June, the federal government announced the creation of a new statutory holiday the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to be recognized on September 30 each year. This day fulfills the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call-to-Action #80 and will serve as a day of remembrance,  reflection, action and learning. Since 2013, September 30 has been known as Orange Shirt Day, a day to recognize the tragic history and long-standing effects of residential schools.  

Truth and Reconciliation Call-to-Action #80: We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.   

Here are some ideas and resources to work into your planning for Orange Shirt Day/National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:  

  • The NFB has put together a selection of films by Indigenous filmmakers and allies on the devastating impact—and ongoing legacy—of residential schools in Canada. https://www.nfb.ca/channels/residential-schools/
  • Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/national-day-truth-reconciliation.html
  • Tk’emlúps Nation extends invitation to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Nation has shared video teaching people how to sing and drum its honour song  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/tk-emlups-sharing-song-1.6180478
  • Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work and The University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work would like to invite you to National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Event: Intentional Reconciliation and Practices of Care : Our Responsibility of Reconciliation in Social Work . The event will be held virtually on September 30th from 5:30 – 7:00 PM EST. This educational discussion explores the critical role that social workers play in furthering and advancing reconciliation with Indigenous communities on Turtle Island and beyond. This event will provide social work students with an opportunity to recognize their important role in reconciliation and to discuss the specific responsibilities that social work, as a practice of care, has in the ongoing process of reconciliation and decolonization.   Please register in advance for this event: https://utoronto.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwrfu2gqDMsHNWGZ7k2slYvUBD_n2-C1PBW   After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
  • Schedule for Truth and Reconciliation Week (General Public) Link: https://nctr.ca/education/trw/general-public-schedule/  
  • Truth and Reconciliation Week Schedule for Educators Link: https://nctr.ca/education/trw/educator-schedule/  
  • Unreconciled: Family, Truth & Resistance Native Studies Colloquium Come join our weekly UMNATV colloquium panel discussing and visiting with some of the best speakers, leaders, and researchers in Indigenous Studies on Turtle Island!  Unreconciled: Family, Truth & Resistance with Jesse Wente (Chair, Canada Council for the Arts) September 29, 2021 11:30 am – 12:30 pm CT Zoom Meeting ID: 778 206 0917 Passcode: 451456 Watch on ZOOM or online on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/UofMNativeStudiesDept For more information contact UMNATV Colloquium coordinator Niigaan Sinclair at niigaan.sinclair@umanitoba.ca 
  • Every Child Matters – Orange Shirt Day is held annually in honour of Phyllis Webstad, a residential school survivor who had her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school in Williams Lake, B.C. The Nursing Students’ Association and College of Nursing, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences will hold a virtual ceremony to mark Orange Shirt Day this year, in place of the annual walk from the Helen Glass Centre of Nursing to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Zoom meeting ID: 828 5988 4094 | Passcode: 986629  Link: https://eventscalendar.umanitoba.ca/site/healthsciences/event/orange-shirt-day–every-child-matters/  
  • Prime-time broadcast for the National Day For Truth and Reconciliation   The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation announces new prime-time broadcast special to mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Produced by NCTR in collaboration with Insight Productions, “National Day for Truth and Reconciliation” will broadcast nationally September 30 on APTN and CBC/Radio-Canada Link: https://nctr.ca/new-prime-time-broadcast-special-to-mark-the-first-national-day-for-truth-and-reconciliation/  

Organizations related to Indian Residential School Survivorship and Learning

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) is a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of the residential school experience will be honoured and kept safe for future generations. The NCTR was created as part of the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). The TRC was charged to listen to Survivors, their families, communities and others affected by the residential school system and educate Canadians about their experiences. The resulting collection of statements, documents and other materials now forms the sacred heart of the NCTR.

Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981) Commemoration Project and Reunion events that took place in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in May 2013. This project was the vision of Esketemc (Alkali Lake) Chief Fred Robbins, who is a former student himself.  As the spokesperson for the Reunion group leading up to the events, former student Phyllis Webstad told her story of her first day at residential school when her shiny new orange shirt, bought by her grandmother, was taken from her as a six-year-old girl.

Indian Residential School Survivor Society

The Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS) is a provincial organization in British Columbia with a twenty-year history of providing services to Indian Residential School Survivors. The IRSSS began in 1994 as a working committee of the First Nations Summit. They were known as the Residential School Project, housed out of and as a part of the BC First Nations Summit. Their work was primarily to assist Survivors with the litigation process pertaining to Residential School abuses. In more recent years their work has expanded to include assisting the descendants of Survivors and implementing Community education measures (Indigenous & non-Indigenous).

Legacy of Hope Foundation

The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) is a national, Indigenous-led, charitable organization that has been working to promote healing and Reconciliation in Canada for more than 19 years. The LHF’s goal is to educate and raise awareness about the history and existing intergenerational impacts of the Residential School System and subsequent Sixties Scoop on Indigenous Survivors, their descendants, and their communities to promote healing and Reconciliation.

Reconciliation Canada

Reconciliation Canada is an Indigenous-led organization that began in September 2012 with a bold vision to promote reconciliation by engaging Canadians in dialogue that revitalizes the relationships between Indigenous peoples and all Canadians to build vibrant, resilient, and sustainable communities. A vision based on a dream held by Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Reconciliation Canada’s Ambassador, to witness tens of thousands of people of every culture and faith walking together for a shared tomorrow.

Woodland Cultural Centre’s Save the Evidence Campaign

Save the Evidence is a campaign to raise awareness and support for the restoration of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School, and to develop the building into an Interpreted Historic Site and Educational Resource. As a site of conscience, the final goal is to create a fully realized Interpretive Centre that will be the definitive destination for information about the history of Residential Schools in Canada, the experiences of Survivors of the schools, and the impact that the Residential School system has had on our communities.

More Online Resources

Book Lists

Additional Videos and Documentaries

Warning: Viewer discretion is advised. These videos and documentaries are not suitable for children under 14 years of age. For those of you working from home, we recommend wearing headphones and viewing in a private location within your home without the presence of children under the age of 14 years old.


Additional Resources& Supports – National Day forTruth and Reconciliation 2021″document from the Universityof Waterloo https://uwaterloo.ca/human-rights-equity-inclusion/sites/ca.human-rights-equity-inclusion/files/uploads/files/post-event_resource_support_list.pdf


Be heard. On behalf of the children.

Join Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc virtually on September 30 – at 2:15 pm.  Pacific Time

‘Honor Song,’ Yo-Yo Ma and Jeremy Dutcher

When Jeremy Dutcher released “Honor Song” in 2017, it was a revelation. A gorgeous reimagining of a traditional Mi’kmaq honour song, the track fused Dutcher’s operatic tenor with strings, piano, hand drum and electronics for a stirring and contemporary work. This year Dutcher has returned to the song, this time with renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma for a collaboration that the Tobique First Nation artist says changed his life. “I’m so grateful to [Yo-Yo Ma] for sharing his platform and allowing so many more people to hear our songs and languages! Music brings the whole world together like nothing else,” he said via Instagram. Ma’s cello brings a new weight to the piece, and it’s as if the two artists — cello and voice at the fore — were always meant to stand together. — Holly Gordon

CBC Music | Sep. 22, 2021

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation should be a solemn day to reflect, says author

‘It needs to be considered in the same vein as Remembrance Day,’ says Michelle Good

Lenard Monkman · CBC News · Posted: Sep 22, 2021


‘If you think I’m a troublemaker, just wait’: Jesse Wente on family, truth, and Indigenous resistance

Politicians have been talking about reconciliation between Canada and Indigenous peoples for years — and for two decades, Jesse Wente has been talking about how difficult that will be. The Anishinaabe broadcaster and arts leader talks about the multi-generational impact of residential schools on his own family, the resistance and activism he sees in today’s Indigenous youth, and his new memoir Unreconciled: Family, Truth, and Indigenous Resistance.

Aired: Sep. 22, 2021 | CBC | 23:00

Co-created by Tsatsu Stalqayu, Mortal Coil and Butterflies in Spirit, Xweýene:msta:m ?əkwəsqwel, seýeḿ (translation: call to witness / listen to respected one) is a performance to honour Orange Shirt Day on Thursday, September 30, 2021, presented by the Vancouver Art Gallery More information https://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/events/orange-shirt-day-2021

Interior Voices Season 2

Episode 10: Year in Review and What’s Coming in 2021

This week, host Vanessa Mitchell takes a look back at past episodes with special guests Kris Murray and Sheila Lewis. The team is also joined by Tracy Mooney for a look ahead to our plans for 2021.

Episode 10 Resources

Episode 7: Orange Shirt Day and Trauma-Informed Practice

This week on the Interior Voices podcast, hosts Vanessa Mitchell and Kris Murray talk with Jody Wagner, Aboriginal Mental Wellness Practice Lead. Jody shares her thoughts on Orange Shirt Day and the importance of trauma-informed practice.

Episode 7 Resources


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is 1 step on a long journey, says Murray Sinclair

Former senator and TRC head discusses how far Canada’s come on reconciliation, and how much more we have to do

CBC Radio · Posted: Sep 25, 2021

Anishinaabe woman wonders why the Bay is selling orange shirts for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Hudson’s Bay Co. says proceeds from sale of orange shirts will go to non-profit

Stephanie Cram · CBC News · Posted: Sep 25, 2021 


How Indigenous place names — and language revitalization as a whole — can teach us about where we live

North by Northwest guest host Kathryn Marlow has a conversation with Rachel Perkins and Christina Gray, two Indigenous women in B.C., about how knowing the Indigenous names for the places where we live, can teach us more about the land and how to interact with it. They also give tips for settlers on how to learn local languages.

Aired: Sep. 25, 2021 | CBC | 15:51

Island school named for racist getting new name on Truth and Reconciliation Day
Port Alberni’s former A.W. Neill School to formally receive new name Sept. 29
Elena Rardon | Sep. 24, 2021 | Nanaimo News Bulletin

NOTE:  There is a link to SD70 on details of the event, which I have copied here.

Date  Wednesday, September 29, 2021  

Time  1030 – 1130  

Location Tsuma-as Elementary School playing field  

Livestream Available on the SD70 webpage at www.sd70.bc.ca 


All Canadians should take Sept. 30 to observe National Truth and Reconciliation Day


How to watch and listen to National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on CBC

CBC · Posted: Sep 23, 2021

SENĆOŦEN for settlers: Vancouver Island First Nation puts language and culture online

WSÁNEĆ council is building internet resources to educate the non-Indigenous public

CBC News · Posted: Sep 16, 2021 4:20 PM PT | Last Updated: September 21

Settler education page offers Vancouver Island Indigenous insight

WSANEC presents territory acknowledgments, history lessons in order to help reconciliation efforts

PENINSULA NEWS STAFF | Sep. 20, 2021 | Nanaimo News Bulletin

VHF launches Indigenous Heritage webpage

VHF has compiled a diverse selection of educational resources for anyone interested in exploring the important history and heritage of Indigenous Peoples in BC. The resources highlighted include informative and interactive websites, courses, videos, Indigenous Places That Matter locations, and much more.

BC is home to 204 First Nations communities and we hope you will join us as we continue to broaden our knowledge surrounding Indigenous history, heritage and culture. To learn more, please visit our Indigenous Heritage webpage.


Maximizing the Potential of Urban Aboriginal Students: A Study of Facilitators and Inhibitors within Postsecondary Learning Environments  

Dr. Marie Battiste, Dr. Isobel M. Findlay, Dr. Joe Garcea, Jania Chilima, and Ryan Jimmy.  2016.

UAKN Prairie Regional Research Centre 

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