This Friday September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day. Phyllis (Jack) Webstad started this movement to raise awareness and recognize the lasting effects that the residential school system has had on Indigenous communities.
At the age of 6, Phyllis’s orange shirt, gifted by her grandmother, was taken from her as she entered her first day at St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in British Columbia. As a survivor of the residential school system, her story prompts reflection of the mistreatment towards Indigenous communities, and helps honour the survivors and children who never returned home.
We have rounded up some resources and events happening on campuses in the GTA and surrounding area:
University of Toronto
The University of Toronto and Hart House will be hosting an event on September 30th at 10am which can be attended either in person or virtually. It will feature Andrew Wesley, former Elder-in-Residence at First Nations House, on “Twelve Steps to Spiritual Renewal, Healing, and Forgiveness: Reflections on My Residential School Experience.”
Information to register or livestream the event can be found here: https://harthouse.ca/events/orange-shirt-day-2022
The UofT Bookstore is selling orange shirts at all locations. Featuring official artwork by Geraldine Catalbas, all proceeds from the sale of these shirts will be directed to the Orange Shirt Society and the Seniors Program at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT). No proceeds will be collected by the University or the Bookstore.
More information can be found here: https://info.uoftbookstore.com/en-ca/orange-shirt-day-resources
McMaster University is holding a National Truth and Reconciliation Day Panel Discussion on Thursday September 29th from 6pm to 7:30pm. This panel features UTP author, Lianne C. Leddy, who published Serpent River Resurgence: Confronting Uranium Mining at Elliot Lake earlier this year.
For more information: https://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/articles/national-truth-and-reconciliation-day-panel-discussion/
In honor of National Truth and Reconciliation Day, OCAD University is canceling all classes on Friday September 30th. A series of events are scheduled throughout the week, such as a film screening, round dance and poetry performance, and a sunrise ceremony.
For more information: https://www.ocadu.ca/news/ocad-university-observes-second-national-day-truth-reconciliation-friday-september-30
Ontario Tech is holding events throughout the week of September 26th-30th. The lineup includes events such as button making, ceremonies, and a virtual tour of the Mohawk Institute Residential School.
For more information: https://news.ontariotechu.ca/archives/2022/09/ontario-tech-university-to-observe-national-day-for-truth-and-reconciliation-and-orange-shirt-day.php
Toronto Metropolitan University
TMU is hosting a series of events on Friday September 30th from 10am to 3:30pm. Events include button making, a silent meditation walk, and a virtual tour of the former Mohawk Institute Indian Residential School, Woodland Cultural Centre.
For more information: https://www.torontomu.ca/equity/events-awards/orange-shirt-day
Western University is observing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation throughout September with events such as a flag raising ceremony, illuminating the campus in orange light, and an interactive art exhibit.
For more information: https://indigenous.uwo.ca/initiatives/truth__reconciliation_/National%20Day%20for%20Truth%20and%20Reconciliation.html