September 30 marks Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.
September marks the time of year when Indigenous children were forced to leave home to attend residential schools. Orange Shirt Day was a movement started by Survivor Phyllis Webstad to commemorate when her clothes, including her brand new orange shirt given to her by her grandmother, were taken away on her first day at St. Joseph’s Mission residential school in British Columbia. She was just six years old. Orange Shirt Day is now an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day honouring the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families, and the resiliency of their communities.
The Government of Canada has proclaimed September 30 a statutory holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, beginning in 2021. This proclamation addresses one of the 94 calls to action of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (https://nctr.ca/records/reports/): “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.”
As an organization, SaskMusic supports and offers resources for our staff to listen, learn and reflect upon the stories of residential school survivors and Canada’s colonial history, and will be devoting our time on this day to participating in educational programs. We have begun consulting with our recently-formed Indigenous Advisory to improve the access and value of our programming.
INFORMATION & EVENTS
Please scroll to bottom for in-person and virtual events from Sask happening on Sept 30.
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation will present a prime-time, hour-long special to honour the stories and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples affected by the tragedies of the residential school system in Canada, with musical tributes and ceremonies in Indigenous communities across the land. "National Day for Truth and Reconciliation" will broadcast and stream live September 30 at 8pm on APTN, CBC, CBC Gem, ICI TÉLÉ and ICI TOU.TV.
There are many 2021 Culture Days events explore themes surrounding Truth and Reconciliation, with events created and led by First Nations, Métis and Inuit organizers. Visit https://culturedays.ca/en/resources/truth-and-reconciliation to learn more and to register.
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS
- Indian Residential School Survivors Society emotional support and assistance: Toll free 1-800-721-0066, and 24-hour crisis line 1-866-925-4419
- National Indian Residential School Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419, 24 hours. Emotional crisis referral services and information on other health supports from the Government of Canada.
- Hope for Wellness Helpline: 24 hours 1-855-242-3310. Offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. Phone and chat counselling is available in English and French. On request, phone counselling is also available in Cree, Ojibway, Inuktitut. You can also connect to the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca.
The following is not intended to be a comprehensive list.
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (PDF)
- Indigenous Canada | University of Alberta (free course, approximately 21 hours)
- The Path: Indigenous Engagement (fee for course, 6-hour virtual classroom course for module 1)
- Guide to Indigenous Relations, from Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.
- Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada
- Interactive First Peoples Land Map
- Every Child Matters: Honouring the Missing Children - a library guide listing educational and scholarly resources https://libguides.uvic.ca/missingchildren
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation dialogues: Perspectives on Truth and Reconciliation (video)
- Panel Discussion: The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the Calls to Action, presented by sākihiwē festival x CARE: Canadian Artists For Reconciliation And Education (video)
- Indigenous Is Not a Genre: Indigenous Perspectives on the Music Industry presented by Manitoba Music and Indigenous Music West (video)
- It's Our Time - Residential Schools Toolkit, Assembly of First Nations
- Legacy of Hope Foundation
- Anishinabek Nation: online student program
- Namwayut: we are all one. Truth and reconciliation in Canada - Chief Robert Joseph shares his experience as a residential school survivor and the importance of truth and reconciliation in Canada (video)
- Where the Spirit Lives (drama) (video)
- Reports gathered by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
- On Canada Project: SettlersTake Action - resource guide
- Kanata: Contemporary Indigenous Artists and Their Music, a learning resource from MusiCounts to support teachers in bringing Indigenous voices, perspectives, and music into classrooms.
- We Were Children, National Film Board of Canada (film)
SEPTEMBER 30 EVENTS
Every Child Matters Commemoration Event – Saskatoon, presented by the Saskatoon Indian and Metis Friendship Centre
Every Child Matters Walk, Yorkton
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Wanuskewin Heritage Park
National Day for Truth & Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day - Prince Albert (Virtual)
Premiering 10:00am and will remain available for viewing
Community Event organized by Circle Project and Regina Work Preparation Centre
12:00pm, Victoria Park, Regina. An Elder and drum group will share messages of hope and reconciliation
Orange Shirt Day Presentation (Virtual), Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Regina
Kiskisiwin Smudge Walk, coordinated by Chokecherry Studios
Starting at 6:30pm, Kiwanis Memorial Park, Saskatoon
Every Child Matters Concert, organized by the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC)
7pm, SaskTel Centre
Our apologies if we have missed any events.