September 30: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 28, 2021
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Artwork: ‘Truth,’ by Eliot White-Hill (2021)

Every year on September 30th, people across Canada wear orange and participate in Orange Shirt Day events to recognize and raise awareness about the history and legacies of the residential school system in Canada. Orange Shirt Day originates from the story of Phyllis Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. In 1973, on her first day at St. Joseph’s Residential School in Williams Lake, BC, Phyllis’s shiny new orange shirt was stripped from her, never to be seen again.

40 years later, on September 30th, 2013, Phyllis spoke publicly for the first time about her experience, and thus began the Orange Shirt Day movement.

The Canadian government designated September 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, beginning in 2021. This responds to Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 80, which states that the federal government will work with Indigenous people to establish a statutory day 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”.

Learn more at

Artwork: ‘Truth,’ by Eliot White-Hill (2021). Learn about the art work and the artist.

Additional resource


Sep 27-Oct 1 Truth and Reconciliation week events (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation)
Sept 28 It Starts With Us: Truth Telling- A Step Toward Reconciliation (Faculty of Medicine)
Sept 29 The 94 Truth & Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action | UBC Applied Science
Sept 30 – Oct 29 Exhibits: Generations Lost: Healing the Legacy of Residential Schools
Sept 30 Intergenerational march at UBCV (UBC STEM faculties)
Sept 30 All-day Sacred Fire event at xʷc̓ic̓əsəm Garden UBC Farm
Sept 30 Drum for the Children (Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc)
Sept 30 Sound House: Never Forgotten (MOA)
Sept 30 Xweýene:msta:m ?əkwəsqwel, seýeḿ (call to witness / listen to respected one) (VAG)
Sept 30 Xe xe Smun eem-Victoria Orange Shirt Day
Oct 12 Defining Meaningful Allyship in the Quest for Reconciliation
Oct 14 Challenging Ideology: Historical Museum Practices Through an Indigenous Lens Part 1
Oct 28 Challenging Ideology: Historical Museum Practices Through an Indigenous Lens Part 2
Nov 2 The Residential Settlement Process with the Honourable Justice Leonard Marchand