National Day for Truth and Reconciliation


The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation takes place each year on September 30 and honors Survivors and the children who never returned home, their families, and communities. The date of September 30, which aligns with Orange Shirt Day, is an opportunity for Canadians to learn, reflect and participate in educational and commemorative activities. Formal public commemoration of the tragic, painful and ongoing impact of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

Residential schools were part of a colonial assimilationist policies that removed Indigenous children from their communities and families. The mistreatment of Indigenous children at residential schools is a tragedy whose impacts are still felt today. It is part of our collective duty to educate ourselves on the lasting negative impacts residential schools have left on generations of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is in direct response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 80, which asked the Government of Canada to establish a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour the Survivors of residential schools.

The Defence Team and Indigenous Peoples

The Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces are committed to the Government of Canada’s focus on reconciliation. The Defence Team values Indigenous Peoples and their diverse cultures, and recognizes their rich history. Indigenous people have made significant contributions in service to Canada and continue to do so to this day.

The Commander of the Canadian Army has the honour of holding the role of Defence Team Champion for Indigenous people. In this role, the Champion leads by setting an example in fostering an inclusive work environment for all, where dignity, respect and fairness are embraced and valued.

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