Every Child Matters – Recognizing & Honoring National Truth & Reconciliation Day 

By Kelly Fitzgerald Junco | SHE RECOVERS® Foundation

National Truth & Reconciliation Day

Previously known as Orange Shirt Day, today marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The vision of this day is to ensure the public commemorates the history and devastation caused by residential schools, while also honoring the survivors and their families and communities, as a part of the reconciliation process.

To the Indigenous Peoples in our community.

We stand in solidarity with you.
We support your healing.
We recognize the impact intergenerational trauma has had both individually and collectively.
We acknowledge the devastating truth of our Nation’s history and the harms that continue today.
We know we must listen and take reparative action for reconciliation to truly begin.

We invite all individuals to take ACTION today by:

1. Attending an online Truth and Reconciliation Week event & reviewing the 94 Truth & Reconciliation calls to action. Commit to at least one.
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation has a schedule with daily online events for Truth and Reconciliation Week that includes workshops, conversations, and performances with topics ranging from language and culture to treaties and land claims. The Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada has 94 calls to action in order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation. Check them out here.

2. Drumming for the Children

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc invites people from around the world to gather and sing at 2:15 pm PT for the missing children of the residential schools, as a way to connect and ground into Sept 30. The nation is encouraging people to learn the Secwépemc Honour Song in order to drum and sing in unity.

3. Wearing Orange

The Orange Shirt Society encourages people to wear an orange shirt on Sept 30 to continue to honor and raise awareness about the tragic history of residential schools. Find an “every child matters” shirt created by an Indigenous artist or organization like the ones listed at orangeshirtday.org/everychildmatters

4. Listening & Learning

Indigenous Peoples and Residential School Survivors like Phyllis Webstad of orangeshirtday.org are courageously sharing their stories of loss, grief, trauma, hope, and healing. Take time to listen to their stories. Hold space for their grief. Amplify their voices and let their pain become your purpose towards creating a better world for all.

5. Donating

Please consider donating to these organizations that provide support for survivors, their families, and their communities, and raise awareness about the impact of residential schools.

If you are an Indigenous woman in or seeking recovery…

We invite you to join the SHE RECOVERS Support Group for Black, Indigenous & Women of Color.

If you are a woman of color, being in or seeking recovery doesn’t have to be an isolating experience. Created by Shari Hampton, SHE RECOVERS Trusted Advisor, this intra-community closed space is designed for women of color to engage and heal. Join a community of like-hearted women each week for the SHE RECOVERS Together BIWOC Online Gathering.

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