In its commitment to reconciliation and ensuring that the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools is never forgotten, the Government of Canada recently passed legislation to make Sept. 30 a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Formerly known as Orange Shirt Day, this day provides an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools and provides a day of quiet reflection or participation in a community event.
Ceremonies and Events
City Hall illuminated in orange
- Sept. 30 & Oct. 1 , Halifax City Hall, 1841 Argyle St.
Sept. 29 – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Flag Raising
- Join Deputy Mayor Sam Austin for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Flag Raising and Proclamation reading – 10 a.m., Halifax City Hall, 1841 Argyle St.
Sept. 30 – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
- Enjoy interactive cultural demonstrations & refreshments at the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre – 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Oct. 1 – Treaty Day
- Treaty Day Mass at St. Mary’s Basilica – 10:30 AM
- Vendors Market, Drum & Dance Presentations, and Traditional Salmon Feast hosted by the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre – 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Oct. 2 – Treaty Day Flag Raising
- Join Mayor Mike Savage for the Treaty Day and Mi’kmaw History Month Flag Raising and Proclamation reading – 10 a.m., Halifax City Hall, 1841 Argyle St.
- Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report and think about how you can implement the Calls to Action in your own life.
- Read Out of the Depths: The experiences of Mi'kmaw children at the Indian Residential School at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia by Isabelle Knockwood, and other memoirs by survivors.
- Watch We Were Children (available on Amazon Prime), Indian Horse (available on Netflix), and Little Bird (available on Crave).
- Watch Gord Downie’s Secret Path.
- On September 30 the Downie Wenjack Foundation will host “A Day to Listen” which will be broadcasted on nearly 500 radio stations across Canada. See participating Halifax radio stations online.
- Learn about the Mi'kmaw communities whose land you live on and visit the three First Nations in Halifax Regional Municipality.
- Visit Indigenous cultural heritage sites to learn about the traditions, culture, and resilience of your local communities.
- Visit the Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre, and Peace and Friendship Park in Halifax.
- Have conversations with the people in your life about what reconciliation means and why it’s important.
- Support Indigenous artists, drummers, singers, dancers, language learners and small business owners. They are helping communities heal.