Each year, Sept. 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, previously known as Orange Shirt Day when people wear orange in solidarity with survivors of residential schools and the children who never returned home.  This date is designed to educate people and promote awareness about the Indian residential school system and the impact it has had on Indigenous communities for more than a century. 

To commemorate Canada’s new statutory holiday, a number of events are being held around the city this weekend.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at Arts Commons

Arts Commons has put together a full day of events on Sept. 30 that includes NFB film screenings, an Indigenous Makers Market and the Elders Story Project where Elders will share personal stories about their residential school experiences and their healing journeys.

Where: Arts Commons

When: On Sept. 30, events will start ranging from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

Learn more and reserve your seat: https://www.artscommons.ca/ndtr?hsCtaTracking=7e153227-580a-493f-9d19-2eb64274d009%7Ceb29ba7d-10cd-401f-9be0-2dd28416cf64

Speak Up!

Discover the profound impact of music in reconciliation during a panel discussion on Sept. 30, hosted by David McLeod, curator of the Speak Up! exhibition, which celebrates First Nation, Métis, and Inuit artists from across Canada who have made significant cultural contributions through their music. And don’t forget, admission to Studio Bell is free on Sept. 30.

Where: Studio Bell or listen virtually through the link below

When: On Sept. 30, the live broadcast will start at 1 p.m.

Cost: Free

Learn more: https://amplify.nmc.ca/live-stream/speak-up-panel/?fbclid=IwAR3ENAsYHNP25FuMuh9fHd8Mcl1BOgUtAlyp3uLXwEjxUnuTKKsZS7voT1c

City of Calgary Orange Shirt Day

On Sept. 30 at 9 a.m., wear orange and gather at Fort Calgary as an opportunity to commemorate residential school victims, honour survivors and their families, and commit to acting on reconciliation. 

Where: Fort Calgary

When: Sept. 30 at 9 a.m.

Cost: Free

Learn more: https://www.instagram.com/p/CxIukPssKeJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=a270d956-7e10-41fa-852d-a870f567f5ce

Truth and Reconciliation Mini Powwow

The third annual Mini Powwow for National Truth and Reconciliation Day is a great way to show up and support our local Indigenous community. The main event is the dancers but there is so much more to see, including fun activities like bouncy castles, face painting, and food trucks.

Where: Bob Bahan Pool and Soccer Field, 4812 14th Ave. S.E.

When: Sept. 30 starting at 1p.m.

Cost: Free to attend

The Children Commemorative Walk & Gathering 2023

This commemorative walk is a way to honour the survivors of the residential school system and the Sixties Scoop. The walk will begin at City Hall then continuing to Shaw Millenium Park, where there will be traditional dancing and drum performances as well as food and artisan booths.

Where: Starts at City Hall and ends at Shaw Millenium Park

When: Sept. 30, at 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: Free to attend

Learn more: https://www.cifrs.ca/events-1/pokaiks-2023

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Sherry Woods is a communications student at Mount Royal University.