For the first time in Canada's history, September 30th marks a federal statutory holiday in remembrance of Indigenous identities lost as a result of the residential school system. Orange Shirt Day can now also be referred to as The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Canada Introduces National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Orange Shirt Day
Brief Overview: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
The Government of Canada passed this statutory legislation in hopes of providing an opportunity for Canada to recognize and remember the unfortunate truth of residential schools.
From the 1880s until 1996, Canada's government, with the help of the Catholic church, administered a school system for Indigenous cultures across Canada to adopt “white ways of living". Children were separated from their families, abused, and neglected. Residential school systems are a form of cultural genocide and sadly, are a part of Canada’s ongoing history. September 30th attempts to raise awareness and carve a path towards reconciliation.
How to Spend September 30th
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a day to honour Indigenous lives and traditions lost, residential school survivors, and families affected by intergenerational trauma as a result. It is a day of reflection and learning the truths of Indigenous issues historically and today in Canada.
WEAR ORANGE & SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA USING #ORANGESHIRTDAY. The Orange Shirt Day campaign symbolizes the Indigenous identities lost, shows support to Indigenous communities, and reminds Canadians that #EveryChildMatters.
- Read a book written by an Indigenous author.
- Listen to an Indigenous podcast.
- Check out an Indigenous event near you.
#GiveBackOntario and Youngs Insurance's Commitment to Allyship
On National Indigenous Peoples Day in June, we hosted Chief Laurie Carr of Hiawatha First Nation at an employee lunch and learn. In addition to promoting and participating in Orange Shirt Day, we circulated an action letter amongst our organization, given to us by Chief Laurie, that may be signed by our employees and sent to their local MPs and MPPs.
Through our #GiveBackOntario initiative, we are proud to support and donate to The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund, a registered Canadian charity dedicated to building cultural understanding and creating a path towards reconciliation.
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Chanie Wenjack died fleeing a residential school at the age of 12 trying to find his family 600 km away. Gord Downie, The Tragically Hip singer, passed away in 2017. Before Gord’s passing, he was an outspoken ally to Indigenous peoples. Inspired by Chanie’s story and Gord’s call to build a better Canada, DWF is committed to continuing the conversation about residential schools and improving the lives of Indigenous peoples across Canada through awareness, education, and action.