National Day for Truth and Reconciliation


Thursday, September 30th, 2021, marked the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The day honours lost Indigenous children and survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. It is a day for national reflection on the historic legacy and present-day consequences of residential schools, which is critical to reconciliation. Reconciliation is the process of healing relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians and addressing wrongs of the past. This requires building meaningful partnerships with Indigenous communities, embedding Indigenous needs and perspectives in decision-making, and recognizing Indigenous sovereignty and the inherent right to self-determination.

Efforts at reconciliation must be guided by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action. The TRC was conducted between 2008 to 2015 and provided those directly or indirectly affected by the legacy of residential schools with an opportunity to share their stories and experiences.

The Commission’s final report provided 94 calls to action. The Calls to Action provide important direction for all levels of government, institutions, and all residents of so-called Canada to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance reconciliation. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a direct response to Call to Action 80, which called for a federal statutory day of commemoration.

Saturday, September 30th also coincides with Orange Shirt Day. Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led, grassroots commemorative day honouring residential school survivors and victims. The day honours experience of Phyllis Webstad, from the Stswecem'c Xgat'tem First Nation, when on her first day of school she arrived dressed in a new orange shirt, which was taken from her. The orange shirt has become a symbol of remembrance of all Indigenous children who were violently removed from their families to attend residential schools, enduring experiences which the TRC has described as “cultural genocide”.

All Dalhousie students, faculty, staff, and community members are encouraged to wear orange on September 30th.

Dalhousie's Henry Hicks Clock Tower on Studley Campus and Cumming Hall on the Agricultural Campus will be illuminated in orange on Saturday, Sept 30th. Both campuses will also fly the orange Every Child Matters flag throughout the weekend.


On-Campus Programming:

Indigenous Student Center (Halifax)

  • September 22nd- Beading Circle between 2-6pm (Closed to Indigenous Students)
  • September 27th – Let’s Taco About Services
  • September 29th- Friday Feast

Please visit their Instagram @dalindigenouscenter for more information.

Indigenous Student Center (Truro)

  • September 25th- Lunch and Learn: Orange Shirt Pin Beading at 11:30 in the Multicultural Room, SLC
  • September 26th- Peer Support Group/Orange Shirt Display at 5:30 in the Multicultural Room, SLC
  • Indian Horse Film Screening with Snack at 5:30 in the MacRae Library Program Room
  • September 28th – Sacred Fire at 7:30 at the Multicultural Rooms, SLC
  • September 29th- Lunch and Learn: Indian Horse Film Discussion in the Multicultural Room, SLC

Please visit their Instagram @dalacindigenous for more information.

Dalhousie Libraries

September 21st & 28th – Make and Orange Shirt Day Pin between 10:30am-12pm (Free). Registration has closed.

Off-Campus Programming:

Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Center

September 30th- National Day of Truth & Reconciliation Gathering

  • 11:00am- Opening Prayer & Remarks
  • 11:00am- Interactive Demonstrations
  • 12:00pm- Refreshments
  • 2:00pm Closing

For more information, please contact or

City of Halifax:

  • September 30th – October 1 - City Hall illuminated in orange
  • September 30th – Flag Raising and Proclamation Reading at 10 a.m. at Halifax City Hall
  • September 30th – October 1st - Downtown Dartmouth's Truth & Reconciliation Day Projection Show at 7-10pm at 90 Alderney Landing

2023 Marshall Lecture in Public Philosophy 

September 28th - Public lecture between 7pm-8:30pm at the Scotiabank Conference Theatre at the Sobeys School of Business (Saint Mary’s University) where Dr. Joshua Nichols will discuss the topic of “Undoing the Colonial Double-Bind: Interpretation and Justification in Aboriginal Law.”

You can learn more by clicking the following link:

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

September 29th - Special Film Screening at 7pm of the films:

  • Miss Campbell: Inuk Teacher 
  • Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics
  • Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair

Register at the following link:

Virtual Programming:

National Center for Truth & Reconciliation

September 25th-30th - Free virtual adult education lunch and learns between 2:30-3:20 AST everyday on topics such as:

  • Day 1: Indigenous peoples and the History of Residential Schools 
  • Day 2: Unconscious bias and debunking stereotypes 
  • Day 3: Intergenerational impacts and ongoing systemic discrimination 
  • Day 4: Indigenous peoples’ rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 
  • Day 5: Taking action toward Reconciliation   

Register at the following link:

Radio Programming:

Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund

September 30th - “A Day to Listen” radio broadcast will air across the country between 6am-6pm AST where Aysanabee, Shoshona Kish and William Prince will join an array of guests who will discuss “Mino Bimaadiziwin: Honouring Indigenous Identity.”

You can learn more by clicking the following link:

National Center for Truth & Reconciliation

September 30th - “Remembering the Children” radio broadcast will air across the country beginning at 2pm AST to commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day.

You can learn more by clicking the following link:


A listing of events happening throughout Mi'Kmaq History Month can be found on our Mi'kmaq History Month event page.