Table of contents

Read highlights of Alberta government actions to work towards reconciliation.

Overview

On September 30, the Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Canadians learn, recognize and reflect upon the history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, the trauma experienced by many, and the hope for a healthy future. The day emphasizes the ongoing need for reconciliation, and building and strengthening relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day, a day when Canadians wear orange to recognize the ongoing intergenerational effects of residential schools and to acknowledge that “Every Child Matters”. The orange shirt symbolizes the stripping away of culture, self-esteem and freedom from Indigenous children over generations.

Learn the truth about the past through events, books, films and other resources, and reach out to Elders or Knowledge Keepers, now and throughout the year.

How Orange Shirt Day began

Orange Shirt Day began in British Columbia in 2013 when a residential school survivor, Phyllis Webstad, shared her story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day at a residential school. Since then, Orange Shirt Day has been an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation.

Commemorating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Commemorating The Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a direct response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action 80, which called for a day to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools.

In Alberta, we commemorate the day every year, and encourage people to participate in events close to them.

2022 events

  • Banff

    Scars to Stars: Residential School Presentation with Angus Cockney

    Date: September 29
    Time: 7 pm
    Location: Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

    Description: Attend this presentation by long-term Bow Valley resident Angus Cockney, who shares his story as a Residential School Survivor while inspiring others to reflect on the past and to move forward on their own healing journeys.

    Prayer Service at RCMP Detachment

    Date: September 30
    Time: 10 am
    Location: RCMP Detachment, 335 Lynx Street

    Description: Attend this prayer service offered by Elders from the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. The purpose is to recognise the legacy of residential schools, those who attended and their families.

    Fireside discussion at the Whyte Museum

    Date: October 1
    Time: 2 pm
    Location: Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

    Description: Gather around a fire with local Indigenous community members to share what you did on September 30 as an act of reconciliation. 

  • Calgary

    Afternoon Panel Discussion

    Date: September 30
    Time: 12 pm
    Location: University of Calgary (Husky Oil Great Hal, inside the Rozsa Centre)

    Description: Attend this panel discussion hosted by the University of Calgary’s Office of Indigenous Engagement in partnership with the Calgary Public Library. The panel includes Dr. Cora Voyageur, Lee Crowchild, and Kathleen Mahoney, who will all lead a discussion on the Final Report on Truth and Reconciliation in light of the unmarked graves of Indigenous children and the papal visit, and look to the path ahead. To register, visit the  University of Calgary’s website.

    People can also register to watch the event online.

    Evening Film Screening

    Date: September 30
    Time: 6:30 pm
    Location: Calgary Central Library – Patricia A. Whelan Performance Hall

    Description: Watch a free evening film screening of “Night Raiders,” hosted by Calgary Public Library in partnership with the University of Calgary’s Office of Indigenous Engagement. The event includes special remarks from Sarah Meilleur, Calgary Public Library’s CEO and Dr. Michael Hart, University of Calgary’s Vice-Provost of Indigenous Engagement. To register, visit the University of Calgary’s website.

    Orange Shirt Day Commemoration

    Date: September 30
    Time: 10 am
    Event location: Fort Calgary, 750 9 Ave SE

    Description: Attend this event to commemorate Indian Residential school victims, honour survivors and their families, and commit to acting on reconciliation. Everyone is strongly encouraged to wear orange. The event will also be livestreamed at City of Calgary – Live Video.

    Reconciliation and Resilience: An event for hope and a better future

    Date: September 30
    Time: 2 pm
    Event location: Grace Presbyterian Church, 1009 15 Avenue

    Description: In partnership with Stardale Women’s Group and Urban Fair, Grace Presbyterian Church is presenting a public discussion of the effects of residential schools and their legacy. The event includes a ceremony and teachings by an Elder, a performance of The Stardale Girls Drumming Group, and a film screening of ‘The Road,’ created by Stardale Women’s Group.

    Register online.

  • Edmonton

    National Day for Truth and Reconciliation events

    Date: September 30
    Time: Various
    Event location: Various

    Description: Visit the City of Edmonton’s Truth and Reconciliation Day event listings for more information.

    National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Morning Walk

    Date: September 30
    Time: 9 to 11 am
    Event location: River Lot 11, Indigenous Art Park (10380 Queen Elizabeth Park Road) to the Rossdale Burial Ground (10419-95 Avenue NW)

    Description: Hosted by Grant MacEwan University, this walk features Knowledge Keepers, local historians and community members who will share their stories while guiding this walk. They will help attendees reflect on how narratives work to strengthen or erase individuals, communities, and sacred spaces.

    National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Afternoon Walk

    Date: September 30
    Time: 1 to 3 pm
    Event location: MacEwan Treaty 6 Marker outside kihêw waciston, Allard Hall (11110-104 Ave NW) to the Twin Graveyards: Edmonton Municipal (11820-107 Avenue NW) and Saint Joachim (10500-117 Street NW)

    Description: Hosted by Grant MacEwan University, this walk features Knowledge Keepers, local historians and community members who will share their stories while guiding this walk. They will help attendees reflect on how narratives work to strengthen or erase individuals, communities, and sacred spaces.

    Film Screening and Discussion – The Unforgotten

    Date: September 30
    Time: 11:30 am to 1 pm
    Event location: Kule Theatre, Room 9-323, Robbins Health Learning Centre (10910-104 Avenue, Edmonton)

    Description: Hosted by Grant MacEwan University, the public is invited to the Faculty of Nursing’s maskwa iyinikwew wâwkamik/Bear Healing Lodge for a film screening of The Unforgotten, sharing circle and tea and bannock.

    Tea and Talk – a Gathering for Reconciliation

    Date: September 30
    Time: 1 to 3 pm
    Event location: Common Room in the Roundhouse (Room 11-190, Allard Hall, 11110-104 Avenue, Edmonton)

    Description: Join this special tea time to talk about decolonizing sexuality and gender, and to learn more about the two-spirit community.

    Standing Together: Orange Shirt Day Community Walk

    Date: September 30
    Time: Noon
    Event location: Mary Burlie Park (10465-97 Street) to Giovanni Caboto Park (9425-109 A Avenue, Edmonton)

    Description: Wear orange to this community walk hosted by YWCA Edmonton.

    Orange Shirt Day Run and Walk

    Date: September 30
    Time: 3 pm
    Event location: Kinsmen Park

    Description: Register for the 5 km, 10 km, or 10 km run or walk. A 2.15 km run is also available for kids.

    Book reading: Nokum is my Teacher and Phyllis’ Orange Shirt

    Date: September 30
    Time: 11:30 to 12 pm
    Event location: Royal Alberta Museum, Roundhouse

    Description: Attend this book reading of ‘Nokum is my Teacher,’ a dialogue between a grandmother and her grandson to help him better understand the larger world while respecting Indigenous ways of life. Phyllis Webstad’s book, ‘Phyllis’ Orange Shirt’ will also be read on her true story behind creating Orange Shirt Day.

    Royal Alberta Museum Viewing Table

    Date: September 30
    Time: 1 to 3 pm
    Event location: Royal Alberta Museum lobby

    Description: Learn about Indigenous stories and objects from RAM’s Learning Collection at their viewing table in the lobby. Visitors will have the chance to ask questions and see objects up close.

  • Grande Prairie

    Chili and Bannock

    Date: September 30
    Time: 5:30 pm
    Event location: Veterans Memorial Gardens, 10121–93 Street

    KAIROS Blanket Exercise

    Date: September 27
    Time: 6 pm
    Event location: Teresa Sargent Hall, 9839–103 Avenue

    Description: Participate in this reflective event on the effects of colonialism on Indigenous peoples. remember to bring your own lawn chair. Pre-register at Orange Shirt Day – Grande Prairie.

    Movie Screening and Workshop

    Date: September 29
    Time: 6 pm
    Event location: Grande Prairie Public Library

    Description: Attend this movie screening and workshop, ‘We Were Children.’ Pre-register at Orange Shirt Day – Grande Prairie.

    Orange Shirt Day 5 kilometre Walk or Run

    Date: September 30
    Time: 4 pm
    Event location: Grande Prairie Friendship Centre Pavilion

    Description: To register for this event, visit Grande Prairie Friendship Centre.

    Pancake Breakfast and Monument Unveiling

    Date: September 30
    Time: 9:30 am
    Event location: Veterans Memorial Gardens, 10121 93 Street

    Surepoint Group Barbeque

    Date: September 30
    Time: 12 pm
    Event location: Muskoseepi Park Amphitheatre, 102 Avenue and 102 Street

    Description: Join this free barbeque and event to show support for Orange Shirt Day. Keynote speakers include Indian Residential School survivor Lorretta Parenteau-English, Indian Residential Day School survivor Gary Moostoos, and intergenerational trauma survivor, Shauna Livesey.

  • Lethbridge

    ‘Beans’ film screening and discussion

    Date: September 27
    Time: 5:30 pm
    Event location: University of Lethbridge, BMO Auditorium, SA 8002

    Description: Attend this free event screening of the film ‘Beans,’ written and directed by Mohawk filmmaker Tracey Deer. The film chronicles the 78-day standoff between two Mohawk communities and government forces in Quebec in 1990. Following the film will be a discussion hosted by Don McIntyre of the Dhillon School of business.

    Find more information at the University of Lethbridge website.

    Bi-Giwen: Coming Home – Truth Telling from the Sixties Scoop

    Date: September 28
    Time: 10 am
    Event location: Lethbridge College’s Centre Core, 3000 College Drive S

    Description: Attend this new public exhibit that documents the experiences of 12 Sixties Scoop survivors. The Sixties Scoop refers to the removal of Indigenous children from home to be placed in the child intervention system in the 1960s. 

    Find more information at the Lethbridge College website.

    Face painting and prayer

    Date: September 26
    Time: 1 pm
    Event location: University of Lethbridge’s Carolla Calf Robe (Napiakii) Elders and Ceremony Room

    Description: Join Elders Francis First Charger and Cathy Hunt for a prayer and face painting.

    Find more information at the University of Lethbridge website.

    Orange Shirt Day Storytime

    Date: September 27
    Time: 4:30 pm
    Event location: Lethbridge Public Library Main Branch Kid’s Corner, 255 Britannia Boulevard W, Lethbridge

    Description: Enjoy storytime for all ages with special guest Marilyn Contois to honour Orange Shirt Day.

    Roots of Growth project launch

    Date: September 29
    Time: 10 am
    Event location: University of Lethbridge, the Grove

    Description: Join this student initiative at the University of Lethbridge to recognize those affected by residential schools and gather together to work towards reconciliation and healing.

    Find more information at the University of Lethbridge website.

    Smudging Ceremony

    Date: September 26
    Time: 10:30 am
    Event location: University of Lethbridge, Iikaisskini (Low Horn) Gathering Centre

    Description: Join Elder Francis First Charger for a smudge to mark the beginning of Truth and Reconciliation Week at the University of Lethbridge.

    Find more information at the University of Lethbridge website.

    Talking Circle

    Date: September 26
    Time: 11 am
    Event location: University of Lethbridge, Iikaisskini (Low Horn) Gathering Centre

    Description: Join Elder Francis First Charger and Elder Cathy Hunt for a Talking Circle discussion on the meaning of reconciliation. 

    Find more information at the University of Lethbridge website.

  • Red Deer

    National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Event

    Date: September 30
    Time: 10 am to 5 pm
    Event location: Red Deer Public Library Downtown Branch, 4818 49 Street

    Description: Attend film screenings for all ages to help better understand the history of residential schools. The Family Learning Centre will also share stories, and have guided discussion questions and activities sheets for families wanting to learn more. Visitors are encouraged to wear orange.

    Orange Ribbon Campaign

    Date: September 30
    Time: Not applicable
    Event location: Throughout Red Deer

    Description: Join Red Deer community members in expressing solidarity with the Indigenous community and grief for those affected by residential schools. To do so, residents are encouraged to tie ribbons on plants in a place that is meaningful to them.

    Ribbons can be obtained at:

    Collicutt Centre: 3031 30 Avenue

    Recreation Centre: 4501 47A Avenue

    City Hall: 4914 48 Avenue

    Intermediate Schools: 5205 48 Avenue

    Find more information at the City of Red Deer website

  • Spruce Grove

    Beading Workshop: Orange Shirt Day Pins

    Date: September 23, 2022
    Time: 1 pm
    Event location: Spruce Grove Public Library

    Description: Learn the basics of beading and create awareness for residential school survivors.

  • Virtual events

    Truth and Reconciliation: Recognizing History’s Impact on the Present

    Date: Date reserved by your organisation
    Time: Time reserved by your organisation
    Event location: Online

    Description: This 1-hour Indigenous led training for organisations extends beyond the history of residential schools by looking at the effects on the survivors and intergenerational trauma they experience. The session will also explore which Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action can apply to individual actions and how to become better allies with Indigenous Peoples.

    Find more information and book a session online.

    Virtual Storytime – Shi-Shi-Etko and Shin-chi’s Canoe by Nicola Campbell

    Date: September 30
    Time: 10:30 to 11 am
    Event location: Streamed on the RAM Facebook page via Zoom.

    Description: Join this virtual reading of “Shi-Shi-Etko,” the story of a young girl who learns about her culture and the land before leaving home for residential schools. “Shin-chi’s Canoe” will also be read about Shi-Shi-Etko’s brother joining her for the second year of residential school. Books are written for children aged 4 to 8.

    Register to join the Zoom presentation.

    To submit your events, email [email protected].

Suggested activities

Wear an orange shirt on September 30. Other suggested activities include:

  • attending or organizing an online or in-person event following public health guidelines
  • reading about the legacy of residential schools
  • reading the summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
  • watching films online about people’s experiences at residential schools
  • learning about Indigenous cultures

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