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National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Canadians take this opportunity to honor residential school survivors, the lost children, their families, communities and to come together in the spirit of hope and reconciliation.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation became a federal holiday in 2021 in order to enact Call to Action #80 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Also known as “Orange Shirt Day”, it was created to recognize the tragic legacy of the Canadian Indian residential school system and observe the painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools.

The movement was Inspired by residential school survivor Phyllis Jack Webstad. Phyllis’ story began at a St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School where on her first day, her hair was cut, she was stripped of her clothes, and had her new orange shirt taken away. Today, the orange shirt stands as a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom, and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.

Sussex encourages all Canadians to commemorate the history and tragic legacy of the residential school system and to engage in meaningful discussions about the history of Indigenous peoples, and to learn about the rich and diverse culture, voices, and experiences of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.

We recognize that every child matters. We mourn the lives lost.

In honor, there is an event Saturday September 30 at 11:30 at the Sussex Amphitheatre – Land Acknowledgement, Moment of Silence, Sussex Elementary School Choir, Update on Sussex Vale Indian Academy research and Learning Stations. 3:00pm at AX, the Arts and Culture Centre of Sussex – Screening films: My name is Wolastoq & Indian Braves and talk by Nate Gaffney, Wolastoquey First Nations, Filmmaker

For those who need support, a national Residential School Survivor Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 1-866-925-4419. For non-Indigenous people, Crisis Services Canada is available to help: 1-833-456-4566.