Truth & Reconciliation – Honouring the Past, Present, and Future


image of orange circle, eagle, narwhal, flower, path, and starts representing various symbols for indigenous people

Each year, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Read on for more information on Truth & Reconciliation and how you can get involved with the Reconciliation movement. As Canadians, we must be aware of our shared history and the rights of First Nations people. The first positive step towards cultural reconciliation in Canada is through awareness.

The purpose of residential schools were to assimilate indigenous children to Christian European ways. From 1831-1996, approx 150,000 Metis, Inuit and First Nation children were taken from their homes and forced to attend residential schools across Canada. In 2015, the Indian Residential School system was deemed “Cultural Genocide“. Many survivors of these schools were reported Emotional, Physical, Spiritual, Sexual and Mentally Abuse.

Both the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day take place on September 30.

Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter-generational impacts of residential schools, and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”.  The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.

On September 30, we encourage all Canadians to wear orange to honour the thousands of Survivors of residential schools.


Urban Spirit Foundation

The Urban Spirit Foundation (USF) is a charitable organization that exists to further the success of self-reliance of Urban Indigenous people. USF was created by the founders of ACCESS a non-profit organization formed in 1999 through the collaboration of six Indigenous community organizations. United in purpose, with the Foundation working to grow philanthropic resources to provide education, employment training opportunities, scholarship, bursaries, and community based programs and projects that move people from poverty to self-sufficiency.

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