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What is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation?

The Government of Canada, in a commitment to reconciliation and ensuring that the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools is never forgotten, recently passed legislation to make September 30th a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

This day provides Canadians an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools.

The Y recognizes and commemorates the harm that was done to Indigenous children in Canada who were sent away to residential schools, its negative intergenerational impact, and the journey of healing that survivors and their families continue to embark upon. We remain dedicated to the ongoing process of reconciliation and to ensuring that we place a special and intentional focus on fostering our relationship with Indigenous peoples and communities in Canada. We encourage you to use this day to listen, learn, and support the healing needed to address the intergenerational trauma caused by the residential school system through quiet reflection or participation in a community event.

Ongoing learning is an essential part of creative inclusive communities where everyone belongs. We each have a responsibility to know what has happened in order for us to not repeat history, and to understand the unique experiences and needs of the diverse communities that we serve, including the First Peoples of this land.

What is the Y doing to support reconciliation?

In support of reconciliation, we are:

  • Creating awareness by:
    • Providing all staff with orange shirts to wear on September 30th (proceeds from the Y’s purchase of these shirts was donated to the Orange Shirt Society)
    • Asking staff, members, participants and childcare families to have conversations about reconciliation
    • Posting on our social media and website about reconciliation
    • Putting posters up in our Y centres and programs to create awareness
    • Adding a land acknowledgement to our Y email signatures
  • Creating a Reconciliation, Equity and Inclusivity Committee to help develop a deeper understanding of the communities we serve.


To help understand the importance of reconciliation, we invite you to watch the following two videos:


Senator Murray Sinclair speaks about Reconciliation Chief Robert Joseph shares his residential school survivor experience and the importance of truth and reconciliation in Canada