Updated: Oct 1, 2022
First, we need to understand the importance of truth and reconciliation.
Every year on September 30th, Canada turns orange. Not only do people all over the country wear orange clothing, but buildings across Canada are also illuminated in this distinctive colour.
These acts are part of an annual observance called “Orange Shirt Day.” Its purpose is to raise awareness about the unthinkable trauma caused by the Canadian residential school system to Indigenous communities. With the slogan of “Every Child Matters,” Orange Shirt Day honours survivors, their families, and communities, who continue to be impacted by the atrocities committed by the residential school system.
Here’s a closer look at what Every Child Matters mean and what Orange Shirt Day represents, along with why the newly established National Day for Truth and Reconciliation matters to all Canadians.
This is an opportunity for reflection, education, and (most importantly) for action. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action remain unfulfilled. It is our responsibility to listen, learn, and act to ensure the rights of Indigenous people are recognized and implemented.
"As such, we want to encourage everyone to approach September 30 as a day of action. Reflection is not enough - participating, listening and supporting Indigenous people, who are still reeling from the multi-generational trauma of residential school, is a proactive stance to commemorate this day."