National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Since 2013, September 30 has been commemorated as Orange Shirt Day across Canada in honour of the Survivors of Indian Residential Schools. Starting last year, September 30 was also designated as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The date was declared a statutory federal holiday with the passage of Bill C-5 in June 2021, in response to 'Action 80' of the Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. This day is an important step towards reconciliation. It provides an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, and to honour the survivors, families and communities impacted. The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network will be airing a variety of educational and awareness programming throughout the day. Below are a few other suggestions to become involved or provide support.

Community Events:
WFN's Sncəwips Museum will be open on September 30, 2022, 10am to 4pm and will be premiering its newest exhibit “What Does it Mean to be Syilx?”. This exhibit focuses on the voices of our community members and their artistic / written expression of identity. It will also give visitors a chance to answer the question “What Does it Mean to be Canadian?” as a way of exploring the identities of two of the many groups of people who are lucky enough to call the Okanagan home. Everyone is welcome to drop-in, enjoy some bannock and tea, and learn all about the syilx people!. Visit them in the Okanagan Lake Shopping Centre, 260 - 525 Hwy 97S.

The West Kelowna Warriors hit the ice for the first time at home on Truth and Reconciliation Day to take on the Wenatchee Wild. The team will be wearing special "Every Child Matters" jerseys for the game with the threads being auctioned off with a silent auction during the game as proceeds will benefit the Residential School Survivors Society.

Okanagan Nation Alliance is hosting Walk for the Children on September 30, a 5km walk for Reconciliation on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The walk will begin at 10AM at the Penticton Peach and make our way along the channel to the SIRS Monument outside the Penticton Hatchery on En’owkin Trail. Walk is open to everyone. Remember to wear your orange shirts!

Support Indigenous Businesses:
Visit one of the many businesses on WFN lands

Purchase an orange shirt to wear on September 30th to show support and solidarity. Orange shirts can be purchased at Spirit of the Lake Native Boutique (1960 Nancee Way, Westbank), London Drugs (Westbank), or Sncəwips Museum.

Download, print and display Every Child Matters' posters in the window/s of your home or business.

Purchase local Indigenous books.

Commission Indigenous art or take a local public art tour.

Give an Acknowledgement:
Recognize or acknowledge the Indigenous lands you are on by placing a plaque at your place of business, using nsyilxcen language in your notices/signage or boardroom names, or adding acknowledgment to your standard auto signatures, eg. "We respectfully acknowledge that we live and work on the unceded and traditional territories of the syilx/Okanagan people."

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their Residential school experience. Non-emergency calls to The Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society can be directed to 1-800-721-0066.