What is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation/Orange Shirt Day?
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was created in 2021 to commemorate the tragic legacy of residential schools. It is a painful part of Canadian history that significantly impacts Indigenous people and communities – and all of us – to this day.
Whether the provincial government or any institution, including Humber, designates this day as a day away from work, the fact remains that September 30th is also recognized as Orange Shirt Day, which is an important opportunity for the Indigenous community to gather, reflect and commemorate the loss of children and the acts of attempted cultural genocide that devastated families and communities. This day also provides an opportunity for many others to sit with the impact it has on all of us as we seek a society that is caring, respectful and loving for us all.
Humber College is committed to recognizing and celebrating Indigenous cultures, histories, and Knowledges throughout the year in our academic programs, events, professional development, and other initiatives. This work is led by the Indigenous Education and Engagement (IE&E) department and guided by Humber’s Indigenous Education Advisory Council. It is something we all need to participate in through ongoing, genuine, caring and empathetic ways of learning and recognizing the legacy of residential schools. Throughout the year, Humber and IE&E provide opportunities for all students and employees to learn and build an understanding of the impact and legacy of residential schools in Canada.
So, what can you do?
It is the work of all Canadians to understand the impacts of residential schools, the policies that created the conditions for the devastation of Indigenous cultures and communities, and the ways that Indigenous peoples are driving a resurgence that will write, and right, the future of our country. The negative impacts on Indigenous cultures have been experienced for generations, and it will require a multigenerational commitment from all Canadians to change this.
As the college will be open on September 30th, we ask that you support Indigenous staff and students who may want to gather and participate in the broader community events or do what they need to do to commemorate the multigenerational impacts of residential schools.
You can also show your support by posting on social media about what Truth and Reconciliation means to you. Visit the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation/Orange Shirt Day Gallery for more information.
Where can I buy an orange shirt to show support?
Orange shirts may be purchased at the Humber Bookstores at the North and Lakeshore campuses.
Orange shirts are also available at the following Indigenous-owned vendors:
- Native Canadian Centre of Toronto
- Resist Clothing Co.
- Vancouver Magazine’s List of Orange Shirt Vendors
- Whetung Ojibwa Centre
- Woodland Cultural Centre
Approaching September 30th, there are planned/ongoing initiatives supporting Truth & Reconciliation:
- On September 30, all flags at Humber will be lowered in honour of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation and to commemorate the tragic legacy of residential schools.
- Indigenous Education & Engagement recently launched the Humber Indigenous Alumni Circle to further engage and support alumni even after they leave Humber.
- More than 2000 employees at the college have participated in Truth and Reconciliation training. Information regarding Fall 2022 training sessions will be revealed on the website soon.
We continue to have meaningful discussions with a wide range of Humber and University of Guelph-Humber community members to find new ways to observe this critical holiday in future years.
Jason Seright, Dean, Indigenous Education & Engagement
Jason Hunter, Vice-President, Students and Institutional Planning