In recognition of the history and legacy of residential schools in Canada, the Federal Government passed legislation designating September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day. The day honours the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities.

September 30 also falls within the NCTR’s Truth and Reconciliation Week, which runs from September 25 – 30, 2023. During this week, Loyalist College will memorialize the lives of the lost children by hosting events and providing resources about the legacy of Canada’s Indian Residential School System, decolonization and the inception of Orange Shirt Day itself.

Loyalist encourages all students, faculty and staff to participate in these events and join the conversation. Learning and commemorating the truth of our history from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit knowledge keepers is an important part of the reconciliation process. 

Truth and Reconciliation Week Schedule

10 am: Ohén:ton Karihwatéhkwen (opening address) and tobacco ceremony at the A'nó:wara Learning Circle 

  • The Ohén:ton Karihwatéhkwen, which translates to the "The Words Before All Else," has prefaced Haudenosaunee meetings and ceremonies since time immemorial. It acknowledges our relationship within the cosmological family and gives thanks to everything within creation. Set intentions for the week ahead and engage in a Haudenosaunee tobacco ceremony.  

11 am – 1 pm: Drop-in Medicine Bag Making in Shark Tank Pub

Craft a traditional bag for plant medicines.

Métis artifact display
Learn more about Métis culture from Guy Mandeville and see traditional Métis artifacts. Located indoors, opposite The Parrot Centre Library.  

Blanket Exercise in the Gym – Registration Required

  • The blanket exercise will use Indigenous methodologies to build understanding about our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada by walking through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. 
  • Please note, participants may choose to register for either the 10 am or 1 pm blanket exercise. Registered participants must commit to attending the full 2 hour session. 
  • 10 am  12 pm or 1 – 3 pm
  • Click to register

Métis artifact display
Learn more about Métis culture from Guy Mandeville and see traditional Métis artifacts. Located indoors, opposite The Parrot Centre Library.  

11 – 11: 45 am: Nature Walk on Campus (departs from A'nó:wara Learning Circle)

  • Learn about the plants and medicines growing on campus with a nature walk. 
  • Group will depart from the A'nó:wara Learning Circle at 11 am.

6 – 9 pm: Drum Making in the Shark Tank Pub

  • Drumming by Austin Maracle followed by the opportunity to craft a traditional style drum.


10 am: Closing ceremony at the A'nó:wara Learning Circle

The National Orange Shirt Campaign

The National Orange Shirt campaign – Every Child Matters – acknowledges the experiences of the former students of the Indian Residential Schools and is an ongoing commitment to reconciliation. In September 2014, the Assembly of First Nations asked all Canadians to join First Nations in wearing an orange shirt in the spirit of healing and reconciliation. The date Sept. 30 was chosen because it is the time of year when Indigenous children were taken away from their homes and placed in residential schools. 

Loyalist College faculty, staff and students will be encouraged to wear orange throughout the week in honour of the children of the Indian Residential School System. Learn more: Origins of Orange Shirt Day

Purchase an Orange Shirt


Acknowledging Truth and Reconciliation

Decolonization: The First Step Towards Reconciliation

Documentary: Doctrine of Discovery

Honouring the Children

Legacy of Residential Schools

Acknowledging Truth and Reconciliation

Truth and Reconciliation Commission – Calls to Action
The White Paper, 1969
Indian Control of Indian Education, 1972

Decolonization: The First Step Towards Reconciliation

100 Ways to Indigenize and Decolonize Academic Programs and Courses, University of Regina

Haudenosaunee Decolonization, Bob Antone

Decolonization, Werklund School of Education

Doctrine of Discovery

Doctrine of Discovery: Stolen Lands, Strong Heart