Minister Guilbeault Announces Support for 200 Projects Aimed at Commemorating the History and Legacy of Residential Schools

News release

GATINEAU, September 30, 2020

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced support for 200 projects to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools.

Budget 2019 provided $7 million to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools. In 2019–2020, the Government of Canada invested in six large-scale national projects to educate and raise awareness of this dark chapter in Canadian history. In 2020–2021, 200 organizations and communities will receive funding to organize commemorative events and activities that are suited to specific histories, needs and realities.

The government is also continuing its work towards the implementation of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Yesterday, the government introduced legislation to establish a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Call to Action #80). Furthermore, the government is committed to implementing Call to Action #81, which calls for the installation of a Residential Schools National Monument in the City of Ottawa.  

To coincide with Orange Shirt Day on September 30, a national virtual gathering is being hosted by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation for students across the country. The Government of Canada is proud to support this important event, providing Canadian youth with an opportunity to learn first-hand from residential school survivors, elders, knowledge keepers, artists and leaders from nations and cultures across the country.

The Government of Canada is committed to reconciliation and ensuring that the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools is never forgotten.


“Today, the government acknowledges the thousands of survivors of residential schools and stands with them and their families. I am particularly proud of today’s announcement because we believe that every single project selected truly reflects the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, more specifically Call to Action #80. In support of survivors, we encourage Canadians to learn more about the painful history and legacy of residential schools and the impact they still have on Indigenous Peoples today. All Canadians have a role to play in healing, truth and reconciliation.”

—The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“Remembering, honouring and commemorating residential school survivors is a vital component of the reconciliation process. Without education and an understanding of the past, we risk repeating history. To underline the importance of today, the NCTR, in partnership with the Orange Shirt Society, is hosting an online education day that has more than 500,000 registered students between grade 5 and 12 who will learn about Canada's history and about what it takes to commit to healing, hope and reconciliation.”

—Ry Moran, Director, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

Quick facts

  • The Celebration and Commemoration Program supports activities that enhance the knowledge and understanding of Canada’s history and heritage, and provides opportunities for Canadians to take part in commemorative activities and celebrations of national significance.

  • The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is the permanent home for all statements, documents and other materials gathered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Camille Gagné-Raynauld
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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