Totem pole at the top of a mountain in Vancouver

How to show your support on Truth and Reconciliation Day

LIVE together | 4 MIN READ | 2021-09-29

As proud Canadians, it’s important to remember, support and celebrate our Indigenous peoples. These communities are the foundation of our country and helped create life as we know it today.

Our First Nations, Inuit and Métis people have faced extreme hardships and it’s time we joined together to acknowledge their struggle and move toward healing.

Understand what this day represents

Tipi's in front of Parliament Hill

September 30th, 2021 will be Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The Government of Canada has announced that this day will honour the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. 

The creation of this federal statutory holiday was through legislative amendments made by Parliament.

The public commemoration of our history and the ongoing impacts of residential schools is a critical component of the reconciliation process, and we’re all encouraged to come together to support our brothers and sisters both physically and in spirit on this day, to build a better future for our communities. 

How to give your support and get involved 

Woman at PowWow

Whatever you can do to show your support and get involved with your local Indigenous communities is a step forward. 

Wear orange: “Orange Shirt Day” is the day led by Indigenous communities and is a grassroots commemorative day movement to honour the children who survived residential schools and remember the children that were lost. 

o Why orange?  The colour orange is associated with the experience of young Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. She wore a brand new bright orange shirt on her first day of school, which was immediately taken from her. Today, it’s a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children.

Donate: There are many charities that support First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, including the Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters fund. Check out this website to see other options to donate to from larger charities and also take a look at this website to see smaller more localized ones.  

Educate yourself and others: Do your research to understand Indigenous peoples in Canada and their three groups: First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

o First Nations: There are 630 First Nations communities across Canada, more than 50 Nations and 50 Indigenous languages spoken. 

o Inuit: The peoples of the Arctic are collectively known as Inuit, which means “the people” in the Inuktitut language.

o Métis: The term Métis refers to a collective of cultures and ethnic identities resulting from unions between Aboriginal and European people in what is now known as Canada. 

Tools for education

Little girls at PowWow

There are many resources available for you to learn more about the beautiful and unique Indigenous culture: 

Indigenous peoples and cultures

Indigenous languages

Indigenous history

Funding related to culture, history and sport

Missing children

There are also online events open to the public that you can take part in to join the conversation. Take a look here. Registration is free.  

Other sources to take a look at 

Totem pole

In addition to resources provided by the Government of Canada and the many Indigenous communities throughout Canada, you can also turn to your favourite social media channels to learn how to help, find more information and support Indigenous content creators: 

Instagram: 

Sarain Fox

Jessica Matten

Chelsey Luger

James Jones

TikTok: 

Gia Pastion

Aïcha Bastien-N’Diaye

Chelazon Leroux

Marika Sila

Twitter: 

Adrienne Keene

Chelsea Vowel

Alethea Arnaquq-Baril

Jay Odjick

*Have a favourite not mentioned here? Let us know!

Plus, take a look at our Canada Day Spotlight on Indigenous Culture here

Let’s all band together on September 30th to celebrate Indigenous culture, honour the Survivors of residential schools and remember those who were lost. Together, we’re stronger.