Tsleil-Waututh community members paddling Burrard Inlet, June 18, 2014.
Copyright Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Photograph by Blake Evans, 2014.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation — September 30, 2023

September 30, 2023, marks the 10th anniversary of Orange Shirt Day and the third annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

In recent years, we have learned more of the tragic legacy of residential schools, shedding light on the heartbreaking loss of innocent children and the profound wounds inflicted upon their families and the broader Indigenous community. This day has now been reserved to pay respect to the children who never returned home and the resilient survivors of these institutions, as well as their families. Truth and Reconciliation Day serves as an important platform for all Canadians to actively engage in listening and learning from the experiences of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.

Recognized as a federal statutory holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation offers the public an opportunity to reflect on and commemorate the enduring intergenerational harm inflicted upon Indigenous families and communities by residential schools, while also honouring those who have borne the weight of this injustice.

Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter-generational impacts of residential schools, and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”.

Commemorating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

In partnership with OCI Solutions (Online Culture Initiatives), The City of Lougheed is hosting a Canadian Fundamentals educational session facilitated by Bryan Hansen. The goal of this presentation is to empower individuals with baseline knowledge on the “why” behind Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, specifically related to the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Calls to Action, to assist in the reflection and learning that this day is meant for  – Learn More

  • Indigenous Art at Burnaby City Hall

Art pieces by Indigenous creators have been on display at city hall (4949 Canada Way) throughout September building up to honour National Truth and Reconciliation Day. This includes pieces from Secwepemc artist Tania Willard’s Crazymaking series. “Crazymaking is about sharing our stories, the beauty, the anger, the confusion, the protest of the living in between worlds … [it] is a visual journey through aboriginal experience, history and healing of mental health issues.” Tania Willard, Introduction to Crazymaking.

  • Shadbolt Centre is honoured to present:  
    • Bunk #7, a play by accomplished storyteller Larry Guno, is the true story of six boys and a riot at Edmonton Indian Residential School
    • Haida Modern, a film screening documenting the life and legacy of renowned master artist Robert Davidson
  • Discover Indigenous-Owned Businesses in Your Community

Seek out Indigenous-owned businesses in your community where you can shop. For suggestions on how to find Indigenous-owned businesses check out BC Market Place and Indigenous Tourism BC has an ever-growing list of businesses to support.

  • Resources for Self-Guided Learning:
    • Read the Reports from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) provided those directly or indirectly affected by the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools system with an opportunity to share their stories and experiences. Educate yourself on their findings – Learn More
    • Discover the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action – The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action provide a path for government and Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in British Columbia to create a joint vision of reconciliation – Learn More
    • Indigenous History in Burnaby – Like all of the unceded Coast Salish territories, Burnaby is rich in indigenous history and tradition. Home to the Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (Halkomelem) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) speaking peoples (just two of the 23 known distinct languages in the Salish family), the history of Burnaby’s first people goes back thousands of years – Learn More

Important dates:

  • May 5 – National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls
  • June 21 – National Day of Indigenous Peoples
  • September 30 – Orange Shirt Day/National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30 is only one day of the year—and it’s important to remember that reconciliation needs to happen every day by educating yourself, advocating for others, and supporting where you can.

We recognize that Burnaby falls within the shared, ancestral and unceded territories of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwxwú7mesh-speaking people