Vancouver Events: National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

On this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we recognize and commemorate the tragic history and legacy of residential schools and honour the lost children, survivors and their families and communities. Today is a day to pause, reflect, listen and to commit to continuing to educate ourselves on Indigenous history and culture.

Here are a few ways to honour National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, along with some events happening today in our city:

Wear an orange shirt as a show of solidarity with Indigenous peoples and read about Phyllis’ the original orange shirt story –

Learn more about the 94 Calls to Action Report –

Make a donation to a Residential School Survivors Fund –


A prime-time special in honour of residential school survivors is to air on APTN and CBC/Radio-Canada.

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is putting on a series of virtual events. Topics are to include treaties, land claims and unceded territories, language and culture, and truth and reconciliation. Videos can be seen on their website:

Xweýene:msta:m ?əkwəsqwel, seýeḿ – translated to “call to witness / listen to respected one”, this traditional song and dance performance takes place at the Vancouver Art Gallery‘s North Plaza on September 30th at 12 pm.

Drum for the Children – given the ongoing pandemic, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is asking everyone to share videos of themselves online playing the SecwépemcHonour Song at 2:15 pm.

Intergenerational March for Orange Shirt Day – various UBC departments are holding a march on campus on September 30th at 12 pm, with informational stops and volunteer speakers.

Paddles Up – an online panel discussion about Indigenous history from a maritime perspective, hosted by the Vancouver Maritime Museum on September 30th at 6:30 pm. The museum also has a new exhibit: Canoe Cultures: Ho’-ku-melh – War Canoes and the Gifts They Carry Forward. It runs from September 16th, 2021, until July 3rd, 2022.

Free admission at the Museum of Vancouver on September 30th for all visitors wearing an orange shirt to honour those who have suffered from the residential school system.

You can always support Indigenous people by shopping from the IndigiMall, a dedicated Indigenous marketplace featuring exclusive Indigenous-made art, fashion, beadwork, moccasins,accessories, and more worldwide. Plus, 10% of all profits go towards causes to benefit women and youth.

We were fortunate to have collaborated with local Coast Salish artist, Ovila Mailhot, to recreate our logo in honour of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. You can also find his Butterfly Kiss mural #onRobson at 1046 Robson Street. Ovila is originally from Seabird Island Reservation in British Columbia and has both Sto:lo & Nlaka’pamux Nation roots.

In his own words, Ovila shares that “Art feels vital to me. And being able to share that passion I have, is very special to me. This tradition of work, and this beauty, is so necessary for our culture & for healing. My work must carry some level of simplicity; it must not obscure itself. That’s the tradition I’ve inherited. My work is meant to add to a continuum within a culture so rich and expansive that it still hasn’t been fully actualized or received by mainstream culture.”

We respectfully acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and all the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast, on whose traditional and unceded territories we live, work and play.

To have a better understanding of whose land you work and live, visit the Native Land website. And to learn more about the Indigenous culture, BCIT offers Indigenous Modules and resources. Additionally, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission provided those directly or indirectly affected by the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools system with an opportunity to share their stories and experiences in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation, learn more here.