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

September 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a new federal statutory 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 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 Society’s office is closed on Thursday, September 30 in recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We encourage 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.

Orange Shirt Day

September 30th is also Orange Shirt Day as we 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 cooler 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.

Resources & Events

We encourage our members to review the TRC resources for lawyers we have compiled including the CBA’s Reconciliation Toolkit for Firms, the Trauma-Informed Lawyer podcast and more.

Trauma-Informed Lawyering: The Duty to Do Better in the Era of Truth & Reconciliation

Join the Society’s Truth and Reconciliation Working Group (TRCWG) for a virtual education session, Trauma-Informed Lawyering: The Duty to Do Better in the Era of Truth & Reconciliation, with lawyer and host of the “The Trauma-Informed Lawyer” podcast Myrna McCallum.

When: Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 12:00 PM-2:00 PM
Where: online via Zoom

Additional upcoming events:

  • Weekend of Reconciliation—September 30, 2021 – October 2, 2021 Halifax Waterfront hosted by Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre
  • The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is holding a series of online events throughout the week of September 27 – 31, 2021.
  • APTN will have a special full day of programming in honour of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

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.