This Thursday, September 30, will mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a federal statutory holiday to commemorate the tragic legacy of residential schools in our country. The day coincides with Orange Shirt Day, which started in 2013, to honour Indigenous children forced to leave their families to attend residential schools. On this day, people wear orange shirts in honour of Phyllis Webstad, whose treasured new orange shirt was taken from her when she was brought to a residential school.
We have an individual and collective responsibility to take part in reconciliation, and this day provides us with numerous opportunities to participate, learn and become educated. We must acknowledge the past and recognize the ongoing harms of colonization, institutionalized racism, discrimination and violence, and come together to build a just and equitable society.