Since 2013, September 30 has been commemorated as Orange Shirt Day across Canada in honour of the survivors of residential schools. Starting this year, September 30 will also now be designated as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an opportunity to recognize and reflect on the tragic history of residential schools and to honour the survivors, their families, and communities.
We acknowledge with gratitude and respect that we live within the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territory of the W̱SÁNEĆ people. We stand with and support Indigenous communities in the path towards reconciliation and invite you to commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The following list of resources is by no means exhaustive. Please keep us informed of any discrepancies or of any additional resources and events that should. Email us at [email protected].
National Day for Truth & Reconciliation Events
Truth and Reconciliation Week (September 27 – October 1)
Truth and Reconciliation Week is a 5-day national event presented by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. This online event will provide historical workshops, exclusive video content, and activities for educators and the general public — all supported by artistic and cultural performances by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists. Click here to learn more about the event, and click here to register.
Land Acknowledgements Workshop (September 27)
Join Erika Doehring, Gwich’in granddaughter for an interactive workshop to reflect on our relationship to our location while we strengthen our connections to the land, ourselves, and each other. Acknowledging the land where we live, play, and work is crucial to establishing a relationship of trust for your business within the community. This free online workshop is presented by Small Business BC. To register, click here.
Xe xe Smun’ eem-Victoria Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters Ceremony (September 30)
The community is invited to wear orange and attend the Xe xe Smun’ eem-Victoria Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters Ceremony on Thursday, September 30 from noon to 2:30 pm in Centennial Square (Victoria, British Columbia). The event will include Indigenous performances and guest speakers who will share their personal experiences with residential schools and reconciliation. To learn more, click here.
A list of other events happening in the Greater Victoria area can be found here.
Reconciliation through Education
We invite you to commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by browsing through the selected resources below to help gain a better understanding of this day.
- Residential School History
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports
- Origins and History of Orange Shirt Day
Resources for Settlers from W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council
Settlers interested in allyship with W̱SÁNEĆ people will find the resources on this page as a great place to support the journey to reconciliation. The resources on this page will teach you about:
- Territory & Land Acknowledgment
- Proper Pronunciation of a Nation’s Name
- Suggested Readings and Educational Resources
- Donating to Local Organizations
Indigenous Collections at Greater Victoria Public Libraries
Books, films, and music by and about Indigenous peoples in Canada can be found at each Greater Victoria Public Library branch. Click here to find out more about the residential school experience and Truth and Reconciliation, and browse through staff curated “Stories To-Go” Indigenous kits that feature stories, puppets, and information by Indigenous creators.
Indigenous Collections at Vancouver Island Regional Public Libraries
Books, films, and music by and about Indigenous peoples in Canada can also be found at Vancouver Island Regional Public Libraries. Click here to browse through the VIRL Indigenous collection and database.
Xwi7xwa Library is a centre for academic and community Indigenous scholarship at the University of British Columbia. Its collections and services reflect Aboriginal approaches to teaching, learning, and research. Access archival material, research guides and more online by clicking here.
Support Local Indigenous Creators, Artists & Businesses
Sidney Whale Watching (Sidney, BC)
Sidney Whale Watching has been serving Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula for over 20 years. They operate on the traditional territory of the W̱SÁNEĆ people and the Salish Sea, an intricate network of coastal waterways that was an important trade route for the Coast Salish people and remained a source of food and other resources for several Indigenous communities. This family-owned and operated establishment was awarded an Outstanding Business Achievement award at the 2014 BC Indigenous Business Awards presented by the British Columbia Achievement Foundation. Learn more about their tours and private charters at sidneywhalewatching.com.
Tivoli Gallery (Sidney, BC)
The lovely Tivoli Gallery has been in business in Sidney for over 35 years. Originally owned by local artist Inga, whose art can still be found in the store, is now owned by husband-and-wife team Tshagay and Sonam. In their store, you can find beautiful local Indigenous art, jewellery, handcrafted dishes, and so much more. They also sell various Orange Shirts by Indigenous designers, where the proceeds will be donated to causes that will help advance reconciliation. Visit them here.
Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea (Sidney, BC)
Our seaside town is located on the coastline of the Salish Sea Bioregion. This is a place of significant heritage and culture shared by over 70 Coast Salish First Nations, including the local W̱SÁNEĆ or “Saltwater People”, who have sustainably interacted with the Salish Sea for over ten thousand years. The Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea is a world-class aquarium and learning centre dedicated exclusively to the Salish Sea Bioregion. The Centre combines live aquarium habitats and marine mammal artifact displays with a permanent Coast Salish art collection. The Salish Sea Store is a unique place to find products designed, made, and produced in the Salish Sea Bioregion, including Coast Salish Indigenous art and jewellery. Visit them here.
Mary Winspear Centre’s First Nations Display (Sidney, BC)
A unique collection of First Nations’ art from artists across Canada is housed at the Mary Winspear Centre. The ever-changing collection of art includes paintings, prints, carvings, and sculptures highlighting local Indigenous artists of both local and nationwide notability.
Shop First Nations (Canada)
The goal of the Shop First Nations initiative is to spur consumer support for Indigenous businesses across Canada. Discover local First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses near you at shopfirstnations.com.
Support Indigenous Tourism in BC
Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) is a non-profit organization committed to the continued growth of a sustainable and prosperous Indigenous tourism industry in British Columbia. Through unique and authentic cultural offerings, Indigenous tourism operators provide each visitor with the opportunity to experience their culture and customs. Discover the beauty of local Indigenous cultures and tourism operators in your region by visiting indigenousbc.com.
Wear an Orange Shirt
Whether you’re attending an event or taking some time to learn on your own, we encourage you to wear an orange shirt this week to help spread awareness. Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours the children who survived Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not. Click here to learn more about Orange Shirt Day.
Take Reconcili-ACTION Today
The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. A reconciliACTION is a meaningful action that moves reconciliation forward. ReconciliACTIONs aim to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together in the spirit of reconciliation to create awareness, share and learn.
Click here for a list of reconciliACTION ideas – reconciliACTIONs will be unique to each individual, group and community, and may incorporate events, cultural activities, updated inclusivity policies, learning opportunities, fundraising, and/or professional development to support awareness and appreciation of Indigenous cultures and traditions.