2023 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Events
During the month of September, events are taking place throughout Canada in recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (NDTR) and Orange Shirt Day, which are on September 30.
Here are some of the opportunities online and in BC communities for connection, reflection and learning about Canada’s residential school system and its impacts.
Check out these events and others in your own community calendar. You and your family will be most welcome to join in!
Wearing an orange shirt on September 30 is a good way to acknowledge the harmful legacy of residential schools on Indigenous children, their families and their communities. The story behind Orange Shirt Day comes from Phyllis Webstad who has shared her experience as a child on her first day at a residential school. Another way to show support is to contribute to Indigenous-led programs and initiatives, including by checking that you purchase your shirt from an Indigenous organization. Consider supporting the Orange Shirt Society and/or making a financial contribution to the work of the Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society.
NATIONAL DAY FOR TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION EVENTS IN BC September 2023
Do you know of other BC events we can list? Please email at the Fraser Basin Council and include a link to the event information. Thank you!
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (Online)
September 25-30, 2023 | Online Free
The Centre has a free virtual education program for students in Grades 1-12, plus a youth empowerment session. This year’s theme is Honouring the Survivors.
The NCTR is offering virtual lunch & learn sessions throughout Truth and Reconciliation Week 2023 to facilitate learning for Canadians on topics related to Truth and Reconciliation. These daily lunch sessions (50 min) will feature a range of speakers and provide audience members with the opportunity to ask questions and engage in further conversation.
A live national broadcast will commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on September 30, 2023. Check local listings.
APTN on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (TV)
On September 30 the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) will broadcast special programs, including live coverage honour of the survivors of residential schools, their families and the children who were never able to return home. A series of films and documentaries will delve into the diverse culture and history of Indigenous Peoples.
September 30, 2023 | 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre Free
Experience immersive programming and storytelling of Skwxwú7mesh and Líl̓wat7úl – the living culture of the original people of the shared territory where Whistler resides. Hear guest speakers, experience Spo7ez cultural sharing, carving demonstration, feature exhibits and immersive crafts, enjoy First Nations-inspired cuisine and explore handcrafted art and keepsakes in the Gallery and Gift Shop.
Admission and activities are free though partnerships with CIBC and Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
September 30, 2023 | 1:00 pm Trout Lake Community Centre, 3360 Victoria Drive, Vancouver Free
This event will honour the lost children and survivors from the Indian Residential Schooling system for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Day.
Everyone is welcome to attend and participate in the program. Volunteers, food vendors and non-commercial vendors that support Indigenous health, services, advocacy, education and justice are welcome to connect. Orange tee-shirts will be on sale on site & at the NTVS office. Contact: T: 604 646-4944 or register as a volunteer online.
As parking is limited, please walk, bike or take transit.
Intergenerational March for Orange Shirt Day (UBC, Vancouver)
September 30, 2023 | 11:45 am - 3:00 pm Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, UBC Point Grey Campus, Vancouver Free
This march is intended to be educational and supportive to the Indigenous community on campus and beyond. Educational activities will allow younger participants to connect with the original inhabitants of the land and plant a seed to continue these conversations of a difficult era in Canadian history at home.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Prince George)
September 30, 2023 | 2:00 - 3:00 pm Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park, Prince George Free
Wear your orange shirt or regalia to walk the path of healing and reconciliation together. Lheidli T'enneh will be hosting a public ceremony at Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park and encourages everyone to attend this important event.
There will also be a private healing gathering for all Survivors, inter-generational Survivors and their families with a keynote from Madelaine McCallum and a presentation by the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
QTS Orange Shirt Day/Truth and Reconciliation Day (Quesnel)
September 30, 2023 | 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Quesnel Friendship Centre, 319 North Fraser Drive, Quesnel Free
Hosted by the Quesnel Tillicum Society, this event promotes awareness about the Indian residential school system and the multi-generational impact it has had on Indigenous communities for over a century. This is a day that honours the children who survived residential school and remembers those who did not. It is a day to learn about and discuss both the legacy and current realities of colonial systems and structures, and to continue the work needed to dismantle them. The event is to honour the lost Children and the Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities, to call for public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools.
Truth and Reconciliation Day: Workshop with Shaina Stephens (Vancouver)
September 30, 2023 | 11:00 am – 3:00 pm Museum of Vancouver, 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver Admission fee required
Join us for an activity and open conversation about all aspects of residential schools; bring your stories, ready ears and ready hands. In the spirit of the story told by spokesperson and former student, Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, of her first day when her shiny new orange shirt, a gift from her grandmother, was taken from her as a six-year-old girl, we invite you to make your own orange shirt with us, stencils and paint to bring home. The Legacy of Orange Shirt Day commemorates the residential school experience, calling us to witness and honour the healing journeys of the survivors and their families, remember those who didn’t make it, and commit to active, ongoing decolonization. Every Child Matters, even if they are now an adult.
Please note that one ticket to this event covers enough materials to make one orange shirt. One child and their accompanying adult/s can be covered by one ticket to make one orange shirt together.
Rethinking Reconciliation with Indigenous Artist Miriam Berndt and Grace Ulu (North Vancouver)
September 30, 2023 | 1:00 – 2:30 pm Griffin Art Projects Free
Griffin Art Projects works with Indigenous artists to listen and learn more about their practices encompassing intergenerational knowledge and formal investigations. The event will host recipient of the Emerging Indigenous Artist Studio Award, Miriam Berndt and collaborator, Musqueam Artist, Grace Ulu. Their work is informed by land-based practices, unveiling family histories, and reconciling stories from their nuanced matrilineal heritage.
September 30, 2023 | 10:00 am – 2:30 pm Memorial Peace Park, Maple Ridge Free
This National Day for Truth and Reconciliation event will include Indigenous drum groups, special guest speakers, a variety of vendors, orange shirt painting, the creation of a community art project, drum circles, resource and knowledge sharing, and — most importantly — the creation of a safe space for those impacted by the residential school system to come together to share and witness through stories. Katzie First Nation Elder Coleen Pierre will be emceeing the event with PLEA’s Knowledge Keeper Charles Lafferty.
Semiahmoo First Nation Walk for Truth & Reconciliation (White Rock)
September 30, 2023 | 11:00 am – 2:00 pm 15393 Marine Drive, White Rock Free
Join Semiahmoo First Nation for the 3rd annual Walk for Truth & Reconciliation beginning near Grand Chief Bernard Robert Charles Plaza and ending at Semiahmoo Park where there will be programming and activities. Semiahmoo First Nation invites the community — individuals, families, and youth — for a walk and activities in Semiahmoo Park that explore the theme “What does Reconciliation mean to you?”
Semiahmoo First Nation youth dancers
Performance by “M’Girl”, an Indigenous women’s harmonizer and drum group
Complimentary chili and bannock
Kids’ activity station and face painting
Indigenous artisan marketplace
Parking is free at the Semiahmoo parking lot located east of Semiahmoo Park (approx. Marine Drive. and Kent Street).
Free orange shirts will be given to the first 100 youth at Grand Chief Bernard Robert Charles Plaza. You can also purchase an orange shirt ($20):
In advance, at White Rock Community Centre
On site before the walk at Grand Chief Bernard Robert Charles Plaza
September 30, 2023 | 10:00 am (all day) Royal Athletic Park, Victoria Free
Hosted by Songhees Nation, the South Island Powwow is an opportunity to recognize Survivors and their families in the spirit of reconciliation. Through song and dance, this event will celebrate traditional Indigenous cultures and resiliency.
All My Relations: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Coquitlam)
September 30, 2023 | 1:00 - 2:00 pm or 2:15 - 3:15 pm Place des Arts, 1120 Brunette Avenue, Coquitlam Registration by donation
Place des Arts is hosting a presentation by Christine Mackenzie on this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Last year, Christine presented and facilitated a powerful afternoon of sharing art that was appreciated by families of all ages. Christine will be back again to share her unique art perspective around the importance of the cedar bough through a drawing and painting activity.
Embracing Truth - Honouring the National Day for Reconciliation (Online)
September 27, 2023 | 8:00 - 9:30 am Online via Zoom Free, with opportunity to donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society
The BC Chamber of Commerce is hosting the virtual event, "Embracing Truth: Honouring the National Day for Reconciliation," with keynote speaker Chris Sankey, Indigenous Affairs & Economic Reconciliation Advocate. This event is a step towards fostering understanding, collaboration, and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in British Columbia.
September 30, 2023 | 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm Pier Park, New Westminster
This event, hosted by the Spirit of the Children Society, is in honour of all the children who went to residential school and those that never made it home. Come witness speakers, dancers and drumming. It is asked by organizers that people attending not record footage or photograph ceremony.
Please bring your water bottles and chairs. There will be food trucks available and concession on site, along with Indigenous vendors.
The event is in partnership with the City of New Westminster, First Nations Health Authority, and City of Burnaby,
Culture Days: Orange Shirt Beading Workshop (Abbotsford) *full/wait list only
September 24, 2023 | 2:00 – 5:00 pm 2499 McMillan Road Abbotsford, BC Free
In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, local artist and beader Rebekah Brackett will be leading an Orange Shirt pin beading workshop.
Film Screening + Dialogue Commemorating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Sechelt)
September 30, 2023 | 7:00 – 9:00 pm Sunshine Coast Arts Council, 5714 Medusa Street, Sechelt Free
In honour of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, this event features a screening of the 1976 film of Anne Wheeler’s “Augusta” (16 min) and a panel dialogue on “Land Learning: reflections on responsibility, relationality and being in place.”
September 30, 2023 | 4:00 - 6:00 pm The Plaza in front of the Salmon Arm Arts Centre Free
Join at the Art Gallery Plaza as participants honour and observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This gathering will include singing, drumming and an open microphone for experiences and words to be shared. Attendees are encouraged to wear orange, particularly orange shirts purchased from Indigenous creators and Indigenous led groups.
September 29, 2023 BC Place Stadium, Vancouver Admission fee required
On September 29 the BC Lions Football team will give away 10,000 orange tshirts to the first 10,000 fans at the game. Team members will wear special helmets featuring Indigenous design and invite their fans to check out the special half-time show that features the Canadian electronic group The Halluci Nation and musical entertainment from Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
Lheidli T’enneh Kodiaks September 30 Game (Prince George)
September 30 2023 Masich Place Stadium, Prince George Admission fee required
As a part of their football game on September 30, the PG Kodiaks will become the Lheidli T’enneh Kodiaks with a specially designed jersey in honour of Truth and Reconciliation Day and to recognize the growing partnership between the club and Lheidli T’enneh First Nation.
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About the Fraser Basin Council
The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in the Fraser River Basin and throughout BC. Established in 1997, FBC is a collaboration of four orders of government (federal, provincial, local and First Nations) along with those from the private sector and civil society. We work with people in multiple sectors, helping them find collaborative solutions to today’s issues through a commitment to the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Our focus is on healthy water and watersheds, action on climate change and air quality and strong, resilient communities and regions.