National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

What is Open on September 30? Why is Orange Associated with the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation?


The first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is on September 30, 2021. Canada honours the survivors and lost children of residential schools including their families and communities on this day. The public commemoration of the tragic and agonizing history is a vital component of the reconciliation process. Canada has created and recognized National Day for Truth and Reconciliation day as a federal statutory holiday. This means that all federal employees will get paid off to commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The Story of Orange Shirt Day

Phyllis (Jack) Webstad went to St. Joseph Mission (SJM) for one school year in 1973/1974. She lived with my grandmother on the Dog Creek reserve and has just become 6 years old. She grew up in poverty, as her grandmother somehow managed to purchase new attire for SJM. She still remembers going to Robinson’s store and getting a shiny orange shirt. When she got to the Mission, they have stripped Phyllis, and took stripped her clothes away, including her new orange shirt!

The color orange has always reminded me of that and how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and how I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared.

– Phyllis (Jack) Webstad

Source: Orange Shirt Day

Read more about Phyllis Story

Orange Shirt is associated with the legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981). The orange shirt is now a symbol of the erasure of culture, freedom, and self-esteem that Indigenous children have experienced over generations. Orange Shirt Day is therefore an Indigenous-led origin commemoration that honors the survivors of Indian Residential Schools and memorialized those who did not.

Both the Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and take place on September 30, 2021.

What is Open on September 30?

Please see below provinces that are open on September 30.

British Columbia

Many public services will still remain open but are possibly operating at reduced levels. However, most Post-Secondary institutions, School Districts, Crown corporations, and some health sector workplaces will be closed.

Read more at the News Release from the Government of British Columbia


Schools will be closed.  Non-essential government services and offices will be closed for the day.

Read more at the News Release from the Government of Manitoba

Nova Scotia

Schools, childcare centers, and government offices will be closed. Businesses can choose to stay open, however.

New Brunswick

Municipal governments in Moncton and Fredericton gave municipal workers the day off. Business with Municipal Workers will therefore be closed.


Municipal governments in Regina, Saskatoon, and St. Alberta, are commemorating the day as a holiday.

Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Alberta businesses are open as usual.

Source: News Release Manitoba News Release British Columbia Orange Day Shirt Phyllis Story Federal Statutory Holiday

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