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National Day for

Truth & Reconciliation

September 30

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For 2021, the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition member organizations will be closed on September 30th to recognize the federal government’s decision to establish the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday.


Let us remember why we are having a National Day. The loss of children. Children who died away from their families and their communities at residential schools across Canada. We are remembering the children found in unmarked graves in Kamloops and in other communities across this country. 


We are also remembering and honour the survivors who went to residential school as children and who are members of our communities today. We want to honour all of the children who never came home and the survivors who have carried this truth alone until we were ready to hear it.


We want to thank all of the partners and people that have reached out to the OAC to ask what they can do for September 30th.  Many of you have either made the decision to close your offices or to have learning opportunities for your staff, board and clients.


As Murray Sinclair, former Chief Commissioner for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said it is important that we start by learning together and listening to each other. We hope that you seek out educational and learning opportunities on September 30th, 2021. We have provided a list of some of the events and learning experiences available to people.


To Indigenous community members, we ask that September 30th be a day to care for yourself, your family and community members, most especially our Elders and survivors of residential schools.


We send you love and respect as we collectively come together to remember and to become stronger as we stand together in the Truth.


The Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition

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In June, the federal government announced the creation a new statutory holiday known as the  National Day of Truth and Reconciliation to be recognized on  September 30  each year. This day  fulfills the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call-to-Action #80 and will serve as a day of  remembrance,  reflection, action and learning. Since 2013, September 30 has been known as Orange Shirt Day, a day to recognize the tragic history and long-standing effects of residential schools. 

Truth and Reconciliation Call-to-Action  #80: 

"We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to  honour  Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.  "

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Truth and Reconciliation Week

September 27th - October 1st, 2021

Location: Online Event

Time: 7:00pm-8:30pm


Truth and Reconciliation Week is a 5-day national event that will continue the conversations from Every Child Matters. Important conversations including the truths of the Indigenous treaties, First Nation, Métis and Inuit land claims, and the residential schools system. This online event will provide historical workshops, exclusive video content, and activities for students — all supported by artistic and cultural performances by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists.



Bytown Museum

September 29th

Location: Online Event

Time: 5:30pm -7:00pm


This will be a Roundtable of Algonquin Leaders speaking on, and discussing, the topic of Truth and Reconciliation and Museums. The Roundtable will be introduced and moderated by Robin Etherington, Executive Director of the Bytown Museum. The participants/speakers will be Chief Wendy Jocko and Councillor Merv Sarazin of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, and Anita Tenasco and Sylvia Morin of the Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg.



Remember Me: A National Day of Remembrance

September 30th: In person 

Location: Opening Ceremony at Parliament Hill then Spirit Walk to Confederation Park

Time: 10am-5pm, Spirit Walk begins at 12pm.


An national gathering to remember Indigenous children & families affected by the Indian Residential Schools and all Indigenous child apprehension programs.



National Day of Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day 

September 30th: In person, please register for a specific time starting every 45mins.

Location: Beechwood Cemetery (280 Beechwood Ave.)

Time: 8:00am-6:30pm

The entire program will take about 2 hours- and is accessible to all persons and accommodations can be made for those needing any assistance. Join us at the Beechwood National Memorial Center’s Sacred Space for the first ever full public display of 57,000 tiles made by children and youth across Canada to honour the children who attended residential schools as part of the Project of Heart education program. Following the memory labyrinth, historians John Milloy and Amber Johnson, the Caring Society and Beechwood Cemetery Foundation will be leading visitors on a 45-minute Reconciling History tour to view plaques marking the final resting places of key figures in the residential schools while learning about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. At the final stop of the Reconciliation Tour, join Beechwood’s Echo the Fox and the Caring Society’s Spirit Bear for a reading of Spirit Bear: Echoes of the Past. Inspired by the Reconciling History tour and the removal of John A. Macdonald’s statue in Victoria, this timely book helps people of all ages learn from history. Throughout the day, the Caring Society and A7G will be hosting an outdoor screening of Spirit Bear and Children Make History. This 25-minute stop-motion animation film tells the story of Spirit Bear hopping a train to Ottawa and banding together with children and animals to end injustice against First Nations children at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in a landmark human rights case.

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If this is a medical emergency dial 911.

National Indian Residential School Crisis Line: This provides support for former students and those affected. Emotional and crisis referral services can be accessed by calling the 24-hour national crisis line at 1-866-925-4419.

Distress Centre of Ottawa: (24 hours a day/7 days a week) 613-238-3311 Help line providing emotional support and encouragement, crisis management and intervention, suicide risk assessment and prevention, and community resource/referral information.

Hope for Wellness Helpline: Telephone counselling available, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 1-855-242-3310 (Services available in English, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut)

Inuuqatigiit Center for Children, Youth and Families:

Métis Nation of Ontario: Call 1-877-767-7572 for the 24/7 crisis and addictions line, or 613-217-3143 for children and youth looking for non-urgent support services.

Minwaashin Lodge Centre for Indigenous Women:

Native Youth Crisis Line: Call 1-877-209-126624/7 crisis line for Indigenous Youth available for residents of Canada and the United States.

Non-Insured Health Benefits: This is provided based on Status and N Number. Call General NIHB Inquiries at 1-800-640-0642 (toll free) and ask for the list of practitioners in Ottawa. This service includes 20+ sessions of government paid mental health counselling support per year.

Free mental health counselling for those who have attended residential school, or have a close family member who attended residential school: Regardless of status or N number, visit

Ontario Online & Text Crisis Services: Click here between the hours of 2:00PM and 2:00AM to chat with someone in real time. Or, you can text “SUPPORT” to 258258 (standard text messaging rates may apply).
Chat 2:00 pm to 2:00 am and text 2:00 pm to 2:00 am at #258258

Talk 4 Healing: This is a service for Indigenous women. Call 1-855-554-HEAL (Available in 14 languages)


The Mental Health Crisis Line (24 hours a day/7 days a week) 613-722-6914
Compassionate and caring crisis support.


Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health : 613-748-0657

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