Today we recognize the first National Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada.

Today we reflect on the painful legacy of the residential school system and honour the children who died, the survivors, and the families and communities affected by the residential school system. 

As a leader in the community, I have a responsibility to continue to educate myself and support the education of those in my community on the continued realities of systemic racism and discrimination faced by Indigenous community members.

On this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we can learn more and reflect on the meaning of this day by attending an event, reading the Truth and Reconciliation reports, listening to Indigenous people and 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.

Here are a few ways to learn more, engage and recognize the day:

  • The Ottawa Public Library’s website offers a curated list of online content and resources to learn more about Indigenous history, culture and our progress towards reconciliation.
  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day at Beechwood Cemetery : Thursday, September 30, sunrise to sunset. The Beechwood Cemetery Foundation has partnered with the Project of Heart, Assembly of 7 Generations and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society to host a public Day of Reconciliation educational program. The event includes a 45-minute Reconciling History tour, an outdoor screening of Spirit Bear and Children Make History, and public display of tiles created by youth across Canada to honour residential school survivors. Visit the Beechwood Cemetery website to register and find more information.
  • PARLIAMENT HILL, Opening Ceremony. Heartbeats Through Our Living Drums (decolonizing a moment of silence) 10am – 12pm
  • Ceremony for the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. The University community is invited to come together for a solemn ceremony in honour of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. Following the ceremony, guests are welcome to attend an open house at the new Indigenous Affairs Office. At the University of Ottawa Tabaret Hall, 11 a.m.
  • SPECIAL CBC BROADCAST – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will broadcast and stream live Thursday, September 30 at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. AT, 9:30 NT) on APTN, CBC, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One

The Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.