National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day: Resources for Members

The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society will close its office on Friday, September 30 in recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a federal holiday to recognize and reflect on the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation responds to one of the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which calls for a national day 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 Province of Nova Scotia announced last year that it will annually recognize Truth and Reconciliation Day in alignment with the federal government.

The Society encourages all staff, members, and Nova Scotians to reflect, learn and consider what we can do to advance reconciliation in our province and live in peace and friendship.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Resources

Orange Shirt Day

September 30th is also Orange Shirt Day a day to honour the Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools in Canada and learn more about the history of those schools.

Phyllis Webstad, a member of the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, started Orange Shirt Day. Phyllis is a survivor of the St. Joseph’s Mission residential school in British Columbia and the colour orange always reminded her of her experiences at residential school and, as she has said, “how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared, and I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying, and no one cared.”

She shares her memories in a presentation outlining the meaning of Orange Shirt Day.

Phyllis Webstad Orange Shirt Day Presentation

Mental Health and Wellness Resources

The TRCWG has collected resources to connect Indigenous members, especially residential school survivors, their families and communities, with existing support resources they can access to support them towards their healing journey.

The TRCWG does not specifically endorse any of these resources and recognizes that they may not provide the support that is needed. It is offered as a round-up of the most comprehensive list of options we are aware of.