This Saturday, September 30 marks the third National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day where Canadians reflect upon the experiences and history of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities in Canada. It is a day to acknowledge, reflect, and learn about the injustices they faced through the residential school system and the ways it continues to affect Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

The City of Ottawa honours intergenerational survivors, their families and communities who have been, and continue to be, impacted by the Residential School System. In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the flags at all City facilities will be lowered to half-mast from sunrise on Saturday, September 30 until sunrise on Sunday, October 1. At City Hall, the Survivors Flag will also be flown at half-mast from sunrise on September 30 until sunrise on October 1, in front of the Heritage Building and on Marion Dewar Plaza.

Why we wear orange shirts on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation falls on the same day as Orange Shirt Day, which honours the story of Phyllis Webstad, a former residential school student who had her orange shirt her grandmother gifted to her taken away on her first day at residential school.

The orange shirt has become a symbol of commemoration of the experiences of Indigenous children who were removed from their families to attend residential schools where their language and culture were repressed, and many children endured physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Whether you’re attending an event or taking some time to learn on your own, you are encouraged to wear an orange shirt on September 30 to help spread awareness.

Ways you can observe and honour the day

On the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we can learn and reflect on the meaning of this day by attending an event, reading the Truth and Reconciliation report(link is external), speaking and listening to Elders or taking a moment for quiet reflection. Reconciliation is a shared responsibility for all Canadians and requires action not just on this day but every day.

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