National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30, 2023
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, originally known as orange shirt day, is an time to reflect and renew our committment to reconciliation every year on September 30th. The day honours the children who never returned home and survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.
There are several events going on within out diocese to honor this day. We invite you to consider the following opportunities but also to learn more about the ways your community is reflecting and continue to make committments towards reconciliation through the year.
Events in Victoria, BC
Youth Art for Reconciliation exhibit
On Tuesday, Eddy Charlie, a former residential school survivor, held a commencement for the Youth Art for Reconciliation exhibit in the Lower Rotunda in BC’s legislature. For the next week, you can see how Indigenous youths express what Truth and Reconciliation Day means to them. This event runs from Sept 27-Oct 3 and is free to attend.
Through song and dance, celebrate traditional Indigenous cultures and resiliency in this all-day event at Royal Athletic Park. Featuring intertribal dance groups, the goal is to sing and dance together while memorializing the past and looking to the future. Doors open at 10am on September 30th, and the opening ceremony begins at 11am, performances follow throughout the day. This event is free.
Xe Xe Smun’ Eem-Victoria Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters Ceremony
This ceremony, taking place in Centennial Square on September 30th at 10am, will include Indigenous performances, a flag raising, a minute of silence, and guest speakers who will share their personal experiences with residential schools and reconciliation. Read more about the event’s founders here. This event is free and will also be livestreamed on the City of Victoria’s Facebook page.
Truth Before Reconciliation
This live event with music, film, and discussion is hosted by the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour (SNIWWOC). The film is Healing Nation by Symbia Barnaby, an Indigenous woman of Haida and Mi’kmaq descent living in northern British Columbia. SNIWWOC will be hosting an open discussion after the film with Barnaby to discuss the legacy of displacement, familial trauma and the power of healing through storytelling. This video will play at the Vic Theatre (808 Douglas Street) on September 30th from 4:30-7:30pm. Tickets are available online, with a suggested donation $15.
Navigating a Path Forward with Truth as the Inspiration
A conversation with curator Monique Gray Smith and CBC host of The Next Chapter, Shelagh Rogers, about the importance of the truth and how it can be an inspiration in our path forward.T his event will take place at the Victoria Events Centre on September 30th at 7pm. Live Streaming will be available and Tickets are $19.62 for in person.
Accessibility note: the elevator at the venue is broken, and unfortunately attendees must climb a flight of 27 stairs to enter the space.
Truth & Reconciliation Day Ride
Capital Bike will again host a ride to honour survivors of residential schools on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It’s a family-safe route that follows an accessible path from Songhees Park to Royal Athletic Park. The ride starts at 10am with a send-off from Diane Sam of the Songhees Nation, and will arrive at the Royal Athletic Park in time for the South Island Powwow’s Grand Entry Ceremony. Capital Bike will have a secure bike valet at Royal Athletic Park. This event is free.
Sooke Truth for Reconciliation at the library
ll are welcome to the Orange Shirt Day event at 12:30-1:30pm on September 30th outside the lower entrance to Vancouver Island Regional Library branch in Sooke. Monique Pat, a member of the T'Sou-ke First Nation, will emcee the event with T'Sou-ke First Nation Elder Shirley Alphonse starting the ceremony with a blessing. Wear orange and bring a chair. This event is free.
Blood in the Rocks
This event is sponsored and provided as part of this year's John Albert Hall Lecture Series. Christ Church Cathedral invites downtown Victoria neighbours and visitors to honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by hearing the perspectives of Indigenous knowledge holders on an epidemic whose devastating impact continues to the present day. This event will take place September 30 from 7-9 p.m. This event is free to attend and online registration is recommended. Voluntary donations will go to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. To register, please CLICK HERE.
Photo credit: Canadian Sky
The Government of Canada
The Government of Canada website offers a number of suggestions and opportunities for September 30th. You can visit their website for more details by CLICKING HERE.
You are invited to wear orange.
You can download the commemorative promotional resources and share how you will mark this day by using the hashtag #NDTR on social media.
Parliament Hill will be illuminated at 7pm on September 30th until the sunrise on October 1st. A national commemorative gathering iwll be broadcast live from Parliament Hill on September 30th. Check your local listings for more information.
There is a bilingual educational program, Truth and Reconciliation Week, open to all school across Canada. All sessions will be held virtually from September 25-30th. To register, CLICK HERE.
Book Club at St Paul, Nanaimo
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
St Paul, Nanaimo began a five-part discussion series of the book, Braining Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer on September 5th. This book club was open to everyone from the parish or community.
A New York Times Bestseller
Books to Consider
CBC Books has asked Michelle Good, the author of Five Little Indians, to curate a list of books to consider reading to learn more about and continue the discussion of reconciliation. You can view this list by CLICKING HERE.
The Victoria Smallpox Epidemic of 1862-63 - Saturday, September 30, 2023
This event is sponsored and provided as part of this year's John Albert Hall Lecture Series.
Christ Church Cathedral invites downtown Victoria neighbours and visitors to honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by hearing the perspectives of Indigenous knowledge holders on an epidemic whose devastating impact continues to the present day.
On Saturday September 30 from 7-9 p.m., attendees will gather to view There’s Blood in the Rocks, a moving short video about the 1862-63 Victoria smallpox epidemic by Marianne Nicolson, Kwakwaka’wakw artist-activist, and to hear from Dr Nicolson and from Snxakila Clyde Michael Tallio, a ceremonial speaker of the Nuxalk First Nation, about the epidemic and the resurgence of BC’s First Peoples.
Guests will come together for some light nourishment and to reflect on what they have heard. This event is free to attend and online registration is recommended. Voluntary donations will go to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
Registration information to come.
For more infomation visit:
An Act of Remembrance
St Marys, Oak Bay
The ReconciliACTION Oak Bay Network, of which St Mary’s is a founding member, is planning to gather the community for an Act of Remembrance.. 215 minutes of silence will be held at the Sno’uyutth Welcome Pole in front of Oak Bay High School on Sept 30 at 9:30am, and then everyone is encouraged to journey down to the South Island Powwow immediately after (gates there open at 10am). This opportunity has been going on for the last two years and have had hearty involvement from the community, with hundreds in attendance, including district councillors and members of the public services (police and fire departments).
Photo credit: Vancouver Island Free Daily - Christine van Reeuwyk
Weekly Loss and Grief Sessions
Parish of Central Saanich
In the Western, Penninsula, and Gulf Islands Holy Trinity, North Saanich and the Parish of Central Saanich are joining together in a weekly Grief and Loss Session hosted and facilitated by Elders of the surrounding Nations. It involves feasting together on a light lunch and then sharing sessions. It's is an ongoing opportunity to listen and learn.