National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 2022

On September 30th, 2022, the City of Windsor will join municipalities across Canada on National Day for Truth and Reconcilliation as we reflect upon and commemorate the history and traumas caused by the residential schools and the profound impact it has had on those lost, the survivors, their familiies, and a country that must reconcile its past, address the present, and create a better future. It is a time for continued committment to discovering the truth, increasing our awareness, and following the pathway toward reconciliation.

In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its findings and listed over ninety calls to action as a response to the living legacy of the residential and day schools. The Government of Canada, in 2021, declared September 30th a national, statutory holiday that was one of the many recommendations made by the commission “to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process”.

This special day coincides with Orange Shirt Day, a vision of Alkali Lake Chief Fred Robbins, a survivor of residential school,, which honors of Phyllis Webstad, a former residential school student who, on her first day of residential school, had her bright new orange shirt taken away from her. It was given to her by her grandmother and she was just six years old. The orange shirt has become a symbol of remembrance of all Indigenous children who were removed from their families to attend residential schools where their language and culture were repressed, and many children experienced abuse. The painful legacy of residential schools has had long-lasting effects on residential school survivors and their families.

To welcome this day of remembrance, the City of Windsor will illuminate City Hall in orange from September 27th to October 1st, and raise the “Every Child Matters” Flag at Charles Clark Square.

What can you do?

Every resident can play an active role that begins by acknoweding our history to ensure it never repeats and by taking the time learn and participate in this collective journey together.

More Resources and Activities

To be Added

  • The Ontario Film Board has curated an exquisite collection of indigenous films dedicated to exploring first hand experiences that suvivors have graciously shared from the Road Forward to a A Tribe of One. Here you can find 34 films from shorts to documentaries

  • eCampus Open Library offers the Seven Grandfather Teachings that are the foundation of the indigenous way of life and explain wisdom (Nibwaakaawin), love (Zaagi’idiwin), respect (Minaadendamowin), bravery (Aakode’ewin), honesty (Gwayakwaadiziwin), humility (Dabaadendiziwin), and lastly truth (Debwewin).

  • Checkout the CBC for a provocative podcast that explores the long history of the Indian Act on the The Secret Life of Canada, aa podcast that goes where media seldom does.

  • We Were Children is an emotional film that captures the profound impact of the Canadian government's residential school system is shown through the eyes of two children who were forced to endure unimaginable hardships. As young children, Lyna and Glen were taken from their homes and placed in church-run boarding schools. The trauma of this experience was made worse by years of untold physical, sexual and emotional abuse, the effects of which persist in their adult lives. The profound impact of the Canadian government's residential school system is conveyed unflinchingly through their eyes.

  • Honor the many contributions of indigenous veterans that have served from World War to this day as Veterns Canada takes you through an chronology of their many acts of bravery and sacrifice in over a century of conflict.

  • For a change of pace, watch an animation! The Secret Path is an animated film adaptation of Gord Downie's album and Jeff Lemire's graphic novel. Working with Downie's poetry and music, Lemire has created a powerful visual representation of the life of Chanie Wenjack. The film is divided into ten chapters, each a song from Downie's musical retelling of Chanie's story of his escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School, to his subsequent and heartbreaking death from hunger and exposure to the harsh weather. The final product is a uniquely immersive emotional experience - an insight into the life of a little boy who, as Gord has said he never knew, "but will always love.":

  • Drop by the Art Gallery as Art Windsor Essex hosts a free drop-in at the gallery on September 30th with planned activities around truth and reconciliation and the featured indigenous exhibition Indigenous artists: Grey Matter: Your Brain on Art. You can find the gallery at 401 Riverside drive.
  • Visit the King's Navy Yard Park in Amherstburg on September 30th or October 1st for the two day even with the for a 2 day event of Truth and Reconciliation Ska:na Family Learning Centre where they will have an official opening, indigenous vendors, dancing, drumming, and storytelling.

  • Windsor Public Library brings together a broad array of enriching resources from age-approapriate books to indigenous author collections and digital resources such as movies.

What is closed on September 30th, 2022

To be Added