On National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day, Canadians are provided with an opportunity to learn about and commemorate the survivors of residential schools, as well as the Indigenous children who never returned home.
In Oakville, there are numerous ways to recognize September 30 and delve deeper into the rich and diverse culture of Indigenous peoples:
- Wear an orange shirt to raise awareness about the intergenerational impact and trauma residential schools have had on Indigenous communities and consider making a donation to the Orange Shirt Society to support their work in commemorating the residential school experience and fostering reconciliation.
- Visit any of the town’s community centres and contribute to our Orange Shirt Day display by sharing a message of reflection about the importance of Orange Shirt Day, the value of children and truth and reconciliation.
- Contribute to the Sweet Grass Roots Collective Mural Project on Saturday, September 30 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Glen Abbey Community Centre. Facilitated by Indigenous artists Nadine Chantal Leclerc and Star Nahwegahbo, the mural features information related to Orange Shirt Day and highlights 10 of the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
- Attend a performance by singer/songwriter and inspirational speaker Lacey Hill at the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30, from 8 to 10 p.m. For complimentary tickets, please visit the Oakville Centre website.
- Celebrate Indigenous heritage and culture while creating a visual reminder to recognize and honour the past by participating in a Moccasin Identifier activity at Centennial Square, 120 Navy St., on September 30 starting at 7 p.m.
- Visit Oakville’s first orange crosswalk at Thomas and Church streets and watch Oakville Understanding Reconciliation with Sherry Saevil to learn about its importance.
- Watch Understanding Indigenous History to learn about reconciliation, treaties and how to work together.
- Enjoy a walk along the Moccasin Trails and explore the history of the lands from an Indigenous perspective. Follow the Moccasin Trails signs along Bronte Creek Heritage Trail beginning at Rebecca Street and Mississaga Street, and along Sixteen Mile Creek Inner Valley to Dundas Street West at Lions Valley.
- Visit Tannery Park and explore the First Nations history wall and Moccasin Identifier, built to promote public awareness of significant cultural historic sites and the ancestral presence of First Nations, Métis and Indigenous communities.
- Explore the Oakville Public Library’s Truth and Reconciliation page for book recommendations and more information.
Flags and lights at town facilities
In addition to the activities being offered by the town, the 'Every Child Matters' orange flag will be flown at Town Hall during the week of September 25 and lowered to half-mast on September 30. The lights at Town Hall and the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts will also be lit orange during the week of September 25.
A reminder for those who may be in need of support, please call:
- National IRS Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
- IRSS Telephone Support Line: 1-800-721-0066
- FN & Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1-855-242-3310
- Native Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-877-209-1266
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868, or text 686868