Sept. 30 is National Truth and Reconciliation Day — a time to reflect on the history of residential schools and to listen with purpose to the stories of our Indigenous friends and neighbours.
Municipalities across Greater Victoria are hosting events to commemorate and celebrate indigenous voices, including:
The City of Victoria will be hosting the Xe xe Smun' eem-Victoria Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters Ceremony from noon to 2:30 pm at Centennial Square. The event will include Indigenous performances, a minute of silence, and guest speakers sharing their personal experiences with residential schools and reconciliation.
The District of Oak Bay will be hosting events through the group ReconciliACTION Oak Bay – beginning in front of Oak Bay High School at 10 am, the event will honour residential school survivors with members of the Songhees Nation sharing their wisdom.
The City of Colwood will be presenting the Na'tsa'maht Gathering in honour of Truth and Reconciliation. The event will take place from 10 am – 4 pm at Royal Beach, and will include traditional songs, drumming, dancing and more.
The Corporation of the District of Saanich will be lighting the municipal hall orange on the evenings of September 29-30, and the flag will be lowered to half-mast.
The Township of Esquimalt has illuminated the Archie Browning Sports Centre in orange this week, and will continue to do so until September 30.
Along with the region’s municipalities, post-secondary institutions have committed to close their campuses on Sept. 30 and are offering informative and inclusive events:
The University of Victoria has been hosting various reconciliation events throughout the week. From film screenings at the First People’s House to livestreamed educational sessions, the university also has orange shirts designed by Carey Newman Hayalthkin’geme available at the bookstore. University President Kevin Hall will be detailing UVic’s calls to action and the role of education for Truth and Reconciliation.
Royal Roads University invites the community to join in virtual learning and events to honour the strength and resilience of Indigenous Peoples, including the #DrumForTheChildren virtual event at 2:15 with the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Nation. On and around campus, many will share on social media their commitment to reconciliation wearing the limited-edition Orange Shirt with a powerful logo of the Heron People Circle (elder and old ones) by member Clarence “Butch” Dick of Lək̓ʷəŋən (Songhees) Nation.
Camosun College hosted their Orange Shirt Day event Wednesday at 1 pm. Attendees were invited to create love baskets filled with treats and medicines. The baskets will be delivered to residential school survivors who work closely with the college.