Orange Shirt Day
In honour of Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we invite you to learn about Canada’s history in the spirit of truth and reconciliation, reflect on the legacy of the residential school system, and take action.
Participants listen to young people from A7G giving Reconciling History tours at Beechwood Cemetery.
Join us for a day of education, reflection, truth-telling and action at both Beechwood Cemetery and Downtown Ottawa!
We ask those who are interested in participating in Reconciling History Tours to please register, as there is limited capacity for tours.
There will be no-charge transit from 7am to 7pm on Saturday, September 30, 2023, on OC Transpo bus route 7 at the following bus stops:
- Beechwood / Juliana (the west (main) entrance to Beechwood Cemetery)
- Board at à Beechwood / Juliana stop # 7016
- Alight at à Beechwood / Juliana stop # 8796
- Queen / Metcalfe (shortest walk to the lawn of Parliament Hill)
- Board at à Queen / Metcalfe stop # 1512
- Alight at à Queen / Metcalfe stop # 1228
Beechwood Cemetery Activities
- Reconciling History Walking Tour takes people to view plaques marking the final resting places of key figures in the residential school system while learning about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 Calls to Action.
- These tours are available in French and in English
- These tours are available in French and in English
- Viewings of newly released Spirit Bear: Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams.
- Opportunities to help advance the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action by writing letters to elected officials and making art.
- At 2:00 PM, join us for the unveiling of the Children's Sacred Forest.
Downtown Ottawa Activities
- On both September 30 and October 2, A7G and the Caring Society will host Reconciling History Walking Tours of downtown Ottawa. This is an opportunity to learn about the role of non-Indigenous peoples and the federal government in residential schools and the lessons we can glean from history to address contemporary injustices experienced by Indigenous peoples.
- Please note the Downtown Tours:
- are available in English only; and
- will be approx. 90 minutes long, covering 2km.
Other Ways to Participate in Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
For generations, residential school Survivors and their families have bravely shared the truth behind Canada’s Indian Residential School System. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission listened to these truths and created a roadmap to reconciliation in the form of 94 Calls to Action to redress the legacy of the residential school system. Within the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, the Commission called for a national day to honour First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children who both survived and who were lost to residential schools. September 30th is Orange Shirt Day, also known as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. To learn more about Orange Shirt Day, please visit the Orange Shirt Society's website and read Phyllis (Jack) Webstad's story and listen to her message here. We encourage you to commit to honouring residential school survivors and their families and supporting the legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by reading the 94 Calls to Action and identifying ways you can contribute to reconciliation.
Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for education, reflection, truth-telling and taking action, but you can get involved in reconciliation at any time of the year. If you are unable to join in on the in-person events hosted by the Caring Society or in your community, there are still a number of things you can do to honour the day from wherever you are!
Explore the Reconciling History Tour virtually
The Reconciling History initiative invites people to learn from the past in the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its Calls to Action. Explore the Reconciling History Tour virtually and learn about the complete and true story of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.
Share the Reconciling History Tour on social media and with it, share the ways that you’re committing to reconciliation. Be sure to tag us in your post @CaringSociety on Twitter, @SpiritBearAndFriends on Instagram, and @FirstNationsChildandFamilyCaringSocietyofCanada on Facebook.
Write a letter for the full implementation of the TRC Calls to Action
We encourage you to read through the Spirit Bear’s Guide to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action
Using the template provided, write letters to the Prime Minister and your Member of Parliament for the full implementation of the TRC Calls to Action. Mail may be sent postage-free to the Prime Minister and any Member of Parliament at the following addresses:
Office of the Prime Minister
Name of Member of Parliament
Watch Spirit Bear's newest film - Spirit Bear: Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams
Watch Spirit Bear’s newest film Spirit Bear: Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams online for free from September 23 to October 2, 2023. This is a NEW film in the Spirit Bear series, honouring the memories of all the children and families affected by residential schools and the veterans who fought for peace and justice for all people in Canada.
Read Spirit Bear's Books
We also encourage you to read Spirit Bear's books: Spirit Bear and Children Make History, Spirit Bear: Fishing for Knowledge, Catching Dreams, Spirit Bear: Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams and Spirit Bear: Echoes of the Past (available in French, English and select Indigenous languages).