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Ways to Participate in National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Five ideas for commemorating the history and ongoing impacts of residential schools
Orange shirt on an orange background.

Tomorrow is the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which is also Orange Shirt Day. This is a solemn time for learning and unlearning. Coming to terms with the grim reality that ours is a nation built on the systemic erasure of Indigeneity requires that we — both individually and collectively — go beyond reflection and commit ourselves to action. 

Vancouver Foundation offices will be closed on September 30. Here are a few ways that we are partaking in the day, and invite you to join us:

  1. A good starting place is contemplating the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. You can read the TRC reports here.
  2. As you go deeper, an excellent collection of resources is being offered by Nahanee Creative: six mini-courses and two self-directed workbooks that promote decolonizing practices, etiquette for allies, and other tools.
  3. The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc nation is inviting people to sing and drum from wherever you are at 2:15pm tomorrow to honour the memory of the 215 missing children found in unmarked graves at the Kamloops Residential School. You may like to learn the Secwépemc Honour Song to participate in unity:


  4. Another way to move from reflection to action is answering the call from The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada to donate One Day’s Pay to Indigenous-led organizations and projects, which many Vancouver Foundation staff and board members have stepped up to show their support for. 
  5. Wear orange. Though symbolism alone is shallow, it can be powerful when combined with this kind of learning and activities. You can learn more about the significance of the orange shirt here. We are grateful to Indigenous designer Chiara Ignace of for creating the shirts that our staff received for the occasion:

Our journeys are about so much more than what we do on September 30, and we will continue to take seriously our commitment as a community foundation to advance decolonization and reconciliation.

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