Rotary Supports the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

This year, September 30th will mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, honouring lost children and  Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Public acknowledgment of the painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is an essential aspect of the reconciliation process.
 
 
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommended an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day, Orange Shirt Day, that honours the children who survived Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not be formalized in a day of national observance.  This led to the creation of this federal statutory holiday was through legislative amendments made by Parliament with Bill C-5, An Act to amend the Bills of Exchange Act, the Interpretation Act and the Canada Labour Code (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation) receiving Royal Assent on June 3, 2021.  Its purpose is to establish a day for reflection on the atrocities Canada committed against Indigenous peoples.
 
Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation relate to Phyllis Webstad’s experience on her first day of school, where she arrived dressed in a new orange shirt, which was taken from her. Phyllis was a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem'c Xgat'tem First Nation.  Depriving her of her shirt is now seen as a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
 
Truth and Reconciliation Day is a federal holiday for which schools across the country will close, postal workers, federal government staffers, and bank employees get the day off and many people employed by organizations that are not federally regulated will also get the day off work with pay.
 
We encourage everyone to reflect on the meaning of the day and show their support for it by wearing orange.