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National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Bruce County

Bruce County Council has committed to recognizing September 30, 2021, as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (National Orange Shirt Day) by sharing the stories of residential school survivors, their families, and communities.

On Thursday, September 2, Bruce County Council adopted a resolution in support of reconciliation, acknowledgement, and collaboration for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. 

Bruce County Council has committed to recognizing September 30, 2021, as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (National Orange Shirt Day) by sharing the stories of residential school survivors, their families, and communities. Bruce County will also fly the “Every Child Matters” flag at prominent County locations through September, lowering to half-mast on Thursday, September 30 to acknowledge Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

“On September 30, residents and businesses are encouraged to join Bruce County Council and Staff in wearing an orange shirt to show support that every child matters and to participate in a collective act of reconciliation,” said Bruce County Warden Janice Jackson, “Over the months of September and October, please take part in the educational resources and activities that will be shared to deepen understanding and move forward the Calls to Action set out by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its final report on June 2, 2015, which included 94 Calls to Action to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation. The recent discoveries of remains and unmarked graves across Canada have led to increased calls for all levels of government to address the recommendations in the TRC’s Calls to Action. All Canadians and all orders of government have a role to play in reconciliation. 

The Federal Government has announced September 30, 2021, as the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (National Orange Shirt Day) and a statutory holiday. Recommendation #80 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process. 

About Orange Shirt Day
Orange Shirt Day is a movement to recognize the colonial legacy of residential schools and commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Observed since 2013, Orange Shirt Day recalls the experience of residential school Survivor Phyllis Webstad, who at six years old was stripped of her brand-new bright orange t-shirt, in favour of mandatory uniforms, on her first day at a residential school in 1973. Ms. Webstad’s story is the nucleus for what has become a national movement to recognize the experience of survivors of Indian residential schools, honour them, and show a collective commitment to ensure that every child matters. The initiative calls for every Canadian to wear an orange shirt on September 30 in the spirit of healing and reconciliation. The date of September 30 was chosen because it was the time of year when Indigenous children were removed from their families and forced to attend residential schools.