Monday, June 17, 2024

7 ways Victorians can recognize National Day for Truth and Reconciliation this weekend


Saturday, September 30th is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation across Canada.

It is a day to reflect on the oppressive colonial history of Canada and how forced assimilation through initiatives like Indian Residential Schooling caused intergenerational trauma that has continued to affect Indigenous communities.

By recognizing the errors that were made, the country is trying to ensure the traumas suffered are not glossed over and are brought to the forefront of the dialogue when it comes to First Nations relations.

To honour National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we have put together a list of ways in which you can show your support.

Here’s 7 ways you can get involved leading up to and on the day of Saturday, September 30th:

Orange Shirt Day on Camosun Campus

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation lands on Saturday, September 30th this year, so Camosun College has planned a day for students on campus to participate in recognizing the day earlier in the week.

This year, the college is encouraging all students to wear an orange shirt this Thursday and Friday, September 28th and 29th.

On Thursday, there will be a ceremony held at the Lansdowne campus at Na’tsa’maht, the open-sided structure on their grounds which was inspired by traditional Coast Salish designs.

Their students and faculty will have the opportunity to honour survivors of the Indian Residential School system and commemorate those who didn’t make it home.

If you’re still looking for an official Orange Shirt, we have a list of approved places—which means organizations who donate all proceeds from the shirts to creating awareness and providing education about the toll residential schools took on Canada.

  • Where: Na’tsa’maht structure on Lansdowne campus, 3100 Foul Bay Road
  • When: Thursday, September 28th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Bike ride for Truth and Reconciliation

Ever since the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Victoria, Capital Bike has worked with the city as well as the Songhees Nation to try to create a way for people to learn.

They achieve this by planning a big, group bike ride to explore sites that are significant to the First Nations of the area and learn from their elders and residential school survivors.

Just like the last two years, the Truth and Reconciliation Day Ride will take place on September 30th and will end by taking attendees to the South Island Powwow at Royal Athletic Park.

The route is a total of nine kilometres and will take participants from Songhees Park in Vic West, through downtown, along Dallas Road, then up Vancouver Street to the South Island Powwow.

The Truth and Reconciliation Day Ride is free and is designed to be accessible for all-ages and abilities.

Riders are encouraged to wear orange because National Day for Truth and Reconciliation aligns with Orange Shirt Day across Canada.

  • Where: Songhees Park, just along the water adjacent to the Delta Hotel in Vic West
  • When: Saturday, September 30th, from 9:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

South Island Powwow

To mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, the Songhees Nation and the City of Victoria will be hosting the Powwow on Saturday, September 30th.

The event will take place on the homelands of the lək̓ʷəŋən people at Royal Athletic Park—everyone is invited to honour and recognize forced attendees of Residential and Day Schools and their families, the Sixties Scoop, and the children who never made it home from these institutions.

Participants this year include local First Nations, along with Nations from the Mainland and events will include the traditional grand entry of Nations, with Indigenous song and dance with two host drums, Sage Hills and Blackfish.

There will also be multiple food trucks and vendors to browse and enjoy!

This event is free to attend!

(Songhees Nation / Facebook)
  • Where: Royal Athletic Park, 1014 Caledonia Avenue
  • When: Saturday, September 30th from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Blood in the Rocks

In recognition and remembrance of the devastating Victoria Smallpox Epidemic of 1862-63, the Christ Church Cathedral will be hosting a free ceremony for those that wish to pay their respects or learn more.

Attendees will gather to view There’s Blood in the Rocks, a moving short video about the 1862-63 Victoria smallpox epidemic by Marianne Nicolson, Kwakwaka’wakw artist-activist.

Visitors will also hear from Dr Nicolson, Snxakila Clyde Michael Tallio, a ceremonial speaker of the Nuxalk First Nation, about the epidemic and the resurgence of BC’s First Peoples.

Online registration is recommended and voluntary donations will go to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

(Indian Residential School Survivors Society)
  • Where: 930 Burdett Avenue
  • When: Saturday, September 30th at 7 p.m.

Reconcile: Candid Truth From Survivors

Join St. Ann’s Academy as they host the voices of residential school survivors and 60’s scoopers as they open up about hard truths and healing.

There will be a viewing of the acclaimed documentary, We Were Children by Tim Wolochatiuk, and Elders Patrick Stephenson (Pakayagun) and Aldeen Mason will share their own experiences within the systems of removal.

They invite everyone to listen and be a part of this journey of reflection, accountability, and education.

Seats are limited, so make sure you register early to reserve your space!

You can do so via Eventbrite—the event is free to attend.

St. Ann’s Academy recognizes the heartbreaking impact their institution had on Indigenous Peoples, and by hosting and providing a platform for Indigenous voices, they are taking ownership of the past and wish to strive towards a better future.

  • Where: 835 Humboldt Street
  • When: Saturday, September 30th from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Bones and Crows: The Vic Theatre

Vic Theatre will be showcasing Marie Clements’ film, Bones and Crows.

Clements is a Canadian Métis playwright, performer, director, producer, and screenwriter. Her other films include Red Snow and Looking at Edward Curtis.

As described, Bones and Crows is a heartbreaking and powerful story that follows Aline Spears through “the haunting past of Canada’s residential school system as she continues her family’s resilient fight against systemic hunger, discrimination, and sexual abuse.”

You can watch the trailer for the film below.

Tickets are around $13 and can be purchased on Vic Theatre’s website.

  • Where: 808 Douglas Street
  • When: Saturday, September 30th at 6:45 p.m.

Truth and Reconciliation Ceremony at Royals Game

As a part of their home-opener series, the second game on Saturday, September 30th is dedicated to National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Instead of wearing blue, wear orange and pack the rink with the colour honouring Indigenous children lost and/or displaced by residential schools.

If you’re still looking for an official Orange Shirt, we have a list of approved places—which means organizations who donate all proceeds from the shirts to creating awareness and providing education about the toll residential schools took on Canada.

You can buy your tickets online here.

  • Where: Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard Street
  • When: Saturday, September 30th puck drops at 6:05 p.m.


Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments!



With files from Curtis Blandy

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