The City of Edmonton and Edmonton Police Service will observe the Government of Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30. 
The City will also mark this important day through community events and workplace activities. The City, EPS, the Edmonton Public Library, and the City Auditor will provide employees with a day of leave with pay, and will encourage them to learn more about the intergenerational trauma caused to Indigenous Peoples.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

On June 3, 2021, the Federal Government received Royal Assent for Bill C-5 to create an annual statutory holiday called National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30 for employees in the federal government and federally regulated workplaces.    

The holiday is a direct response to the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action #80:   

  • We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.  

What is Orange Shirt Day?  

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event, held in Williams Lake, BC, in the spring of 2013, that was inspired by Phyllis (Jack) Webstad's story of having her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission. Since then, the event, it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually.

With the number of events growing across the country, September was chosen as it marks the back-to-school season and also reflects the time in which Indigenous children were taken from their families to be placed in residential schools.

How to Get Involved

To commemorate Orange Shirt Day on September 30, wear an orange shirt in recognition of, and to honour the children, families, friends, and intergenerational survivors of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools.      

There are many ways to reflect on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day and to learn about the impacts Indian Residential Schools had on the survivors, intergenerational survivors, and the many children that did not survive.  

Light the Bridge

In Edmonton, on September 30, 2021, the High-Level Bridge will be lit in orange to recognize this day and to encourage the city to reflect upon the legacy of Indian Residential Schools.

Commemorative Crosswalk

Crosswalk Video on Twitter

View the video on Twitter