(Image / Royal BC Museum Facebook)

On September 30th, we come together to support Indigenous communities across Canada and honour, acknowledge and recognize the harm caused by the residential school systems on generations of Indigenous people and communities across the country. 

September 30th marks Orange Shirt Day, also known as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a statutory holiday which was given royal assent on June 3rd of this year.

The new national holiday will commemorate the tragic history and lasting effects of Canada’s residential school system, and to honour Indigenous survivors and their families and communities.

Federally-regulated workplaces will be closed in order to respect the new statutory holiday.

The establishment of the national holiday is in response to the 80th call to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action.

See more: New statutory holiday in Canada will honour victims of residential schools

Here are 8 events to honour Indigenous communities around Victoria on September 30th:

Indigenous Acknowledgement Event

Hampton Little League invites the public to witness an acknowledgement of Indigenous Territories. There will be an unveiling of a permanent Territorial sign acknowledging the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. 

Representatives from both the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations will be in attendance. Lunch will be provided for any witnesses and the event encourages all attendees to wear orange. 

To RSVP please contact rangerstation@shaw.ca or call 250-889-9413.

  • Where: 3401 Tillicum Road, Hampton Park
  • When: 11 a.m., Thursday, September 30th

March in Duncan on The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

Tomorrow, attend an Every Child Matters walk to observe the inaugural National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. 

Registration, for contact tracing, will take place prior to the event from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Following this, an opening prayer will begin at 9:15 a.m.

The walk will begin at 9:30 a.m., from Vancouver Island University (VIU) to the Cowichan Tribes, S’iem Lelum Soccer Fields on River Road.

Attendees are encouraged to bring drums as well as mementos to leave at city hall. 

After the walk, Elders will share their stories followed by Traditional drumming, singing and dancing.

Masks are mandatory. 

  • Registration: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., at VIU
  • Where: The walk will be from VIU to the Cowichan Tribes, S’iem Lelum Soccer Fields on River Road
  • When: Thursday, September 30th. Prayer at 9:15 a.m., Walking begins at 9:30 a.m.

Marking the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Virtual Zoom Event

On September 30th, the Prairie Federal Council and the Canada School of Public Service will be holding an online, virtual zoom event for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The event will feature the lived experiences of residential school Survivors and their communities. Guests will share their thoughts and insights on what those experiences mean for Indigenous Peoples in Canada and our journey toward truth and reconciliation. 

  • Where: Virtual Zoom Event
  • When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Registration: Registration can be completed here. Registered attendees will be sent the link to the stream. 

National Reconciliation Day Ride

Capital Bike and Victoria Orange Shirt Day have announced the first-ever National Reconciliation Day Ride. 

The event is part of Go By Bike Week in recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. 

The ride will start at Centennial Square and stop at locations of significance to the lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen/Songhees) and W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) People. 

The ride will return to Centennial Square by noon, in time for the start of the Xe xe Smun eem-Victoria Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters Ceremony at Centennial Square.

  • Where: Centennial Square
  • When: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Thursday, September 30th

Xe xe Smun’ eem-Victoria Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters Ceremony

On September 30th, you are invited to attend the Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters ceremony in Centennial Square. 

Xe xe Smun’ eem means “Sacred Children” in the Cowichan or Quw utsun language.

The community is invited to wear orange as they join the event for the blessing of the land, the raising of the Orange Shirt Day flag, followed by a moment of silence to honour and remember those who did not survive residential schools. 

The event will be held rain or shine, masks are recommended.

If you are not able to attend in person, you can view the ceremony via live stream on the City of Victoria’s Facebook page.

  • Where: Centennial Square
  • When: 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Thursday, September 30th

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

On September 30th, visit the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria for a free Public Open House. 

Visitors to the gallery will be able to view two exhibitions ‘Emily Carr: Seeing and Being Seen’ and ‘Holding Ground’.

  • Where: 1040 Moss Street, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
  • When: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, September 30th

Totem pole raising to honour lost children and survivors

Snuneymuxw First Nation, partnering with the City of Nanaimo and Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools will be holding an event to honour lost children and survivors of residential schools in Canada. 

The event will take place at Maffeo Sutton Park on Thursday afternoon. 

Snuneymuxw Elders and survivors of residential schools will share speeches and stories. There will also be performances in the Lions Pavilion and a new Welcome Pole unveiled at the park’s entrance.

  • Where: Maffeo Sutton/Swy-a-Lana Park in Nanaimo
  • When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, September 30th

ReconciliAction Oak Bay

On this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, ReconciliAction Oak Bay invites residents to attend a ceremony to honour residential school survivors, their families and their lost loved ones. 

Members of the Songhees Nation will be present to share their stories and wisdom. 

  • Where: The Sno’uyutth Welcome Pole, in front of Oak Bay High School.
  • When: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Thursday, September 30th

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