National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: September 30, 2021

September 27, 2021 | Jamie

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September 30, 2021 will be the first year of a new federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It also marks Orange Shirt Day. Let’s learn more about how the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation came to be, and what you can do.

In the summer of 2021, the federal government enacted a law to make the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a statutory holiday. This holiday was created in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #80. Call to Action #80 calls upon the federal government “… 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 .

The aim of this day is to give time and space to reflect and learn more about the history and ongoing legacy of residential schools.

Toronto Public Library branches will be flying flags at half-mast on September 30 and most branches will be open to the public to visit. We also have displays for Orange Shirt Day and for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at some branches.


How to learn more about Truth and Reconciliation and support Indigenous communities at the library

You can read our Orange Shirt Day blog post. It also has a list of books about Orange Shirt Day and Indian Residential Schools for children, teens and adults

You can also read books on our Reading for Reconciliation book list.

We also have more books for children, teens and adults as a part of our Read Indigenous campaign. Titles in Read Indigenous are selected with Toronto Public Library's Indigenous Advisory Council.

You can also register and attend Dibaajimowin / My Story on September 28. This program will be hosted on WebEx, and registration will be required to attend

You can also check out other upcoming and past programs on our Indigenous Celebrations page.

You can also watch documentary films by Indigenous filmmakers in our collections.


How to show your support and learn more outside of the library

You can wear an orange shirt to raise awareness about Indian Residential School legacies and histories.

You can register and attend the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation's Truth and Reconciliation Week, which is running from September 27 to October 1.

You can listen to the stories of Indian Residential School Survivors on A Day to Listen.

You can read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action (PDF). You can also read Reclaiming Power and Place (PDF) - The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

You can visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website.

You can check out events happening in and around Toronto on the City of Toronto's Indigenous Events page. They also have some other fantastic recommendations on what to do to learn more and support Indigenous communities.


Mental Health Resources

Learning about Indian Residential Schools can be hard on one's mental wellbeing. Days like Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation can also be difficult for Indigenous community members. If you need support during these times, please reach out to the following mental health resources:

Resources for everyone: 

  • Crisis Services Canada - you can call them at 1-833-456-4566 or text them at 45645 (for all ages).
  • Kids Help Phone - you can call them at 1-800-668-6868 or text them at 686868 (for children).
  • Good2Talk - you can call them at 1-866-925-5454 or text "GOOD2TALKON" to 686868 (for postsecondary students).

Resources for Indigenous communities:



September 27, 2021: added mental health resources and formatting.

September 29, 2021: added a link to Toronto Public Library branches.