Vansh Sahni/Staff reporter      

On September 4, a new holiday has been announced in Canada. It is called, “National Day for Truth and Reconciliation”, which recognizes the tragic legacy of residential schools, the missing children, the families left behind, and the survivors of these institutions. This day is special for the aboriginal people and all over Canada and, orange shirts are worn to show respect to them. All over Canada, children’s in school are taught about this horrific mistake on part of the Government and the Church and how to recognize it. When Gleneagle students were asked, what they knew about what they know about the “National Day for Truth and Reconciliation”, they all had a general idea about it and knew the past history.    

From 1831 to 1998, for several centuries, many Aboriginal people’s kids were forcefully taken away from their parents to residential schools. The last residential school was closed 23 years ago. In these schools, kids were not allowed to talk to their parents, speak their language or practice their culture. The school hurt kids physically and mentally, which was horribly terrifying. The day September 30th is honored to the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. This is the tragic, injustice and painful history of Canada.

To show support to this day, Gleneagle student Younes Pourgholami in grade 9 said, “We should wear orange shirts, spread awareness about it around, discuss the colonial history of Canada and its relationship with indigenous people”. The student, Younes also believes that “This day should be a holiday as this day is unique – it encourages us to accept our mistakes and never repeat them. It is a day that reminds us of a mistake that was part of Canadian history and we all should honor it together”.

The survivors of residential schools advocated for recognition and reparations and demanded accountability for the lasting legacy of harms that were caused. Their efforts helped them get-

– The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement

– Apologies by the government

– The establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

– The creation of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

The question that was asked to Gleneagle students that, “Should the government do more for this day? Have they done enough? What can you personally do to give back to the first nation”. Here is the response-

“The government can still do more as Aboriginal people were affected more than 140 years and the government should do more than their best because many people were affected by this”, said Ashton Vongxay in grade 9. “What the government did in past can not be taken back, hence they can do better in the future. The government should produce more informational videos and texts to educate the people of Canada and formally apologize to residential school survivors. To support, donate to non-profits supporting communities. Pressure our representatives to do more for reconciliation. Vote for good people. Stand with them and spread more awareness”

The Orange Shirt Day is also on September 30, along with “National Day for Truth and Reconciliation”. It is a day to wear orange shirts to honor the children who were forcefully taken to residential schools and to learn about the legacy of the residential school system. The shirts that are specially made for this day and always have something imprinted on it, which is “Every child matters”.


The Orange Shirt Day

a new holiday has been announced in Canada

The survivors of residential schools advocated for recognition and reparations and demanded accountability for the lasting legacy of harms that were caused.

Understanding the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Survivor offers advice on how to honor National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

More information on “National Day for Truth and Reconciliation”


Residential School

Students in the residential school

Orange shirt day shirt