On Friday, September 30 Broadmead Care observed the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day, a grassroots campaign founded by Phyllis Webstad. Orange Shirt Day grew out of her own experiences and the experiences of other residential school survivors who attended St. Joseph’s Mission near Williams Lake. It’s a day to honour the healing journeys of residential school survivors and their families and a time to engage in meaningful discussions about the history and legacy of the residential school system.
Orange Shirt Day has become an important opportunity to open up dialogue on anti-racism and anti-bullying. This day is meant to also encourage deeper reflection, learning and public dialogue on the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
In June 2021, the Government of Canada passed Bill C-5 to name September 30 as a federal statutory day. It is observed as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This directly responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #80. Action #80 calls upon the federal government, in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, “to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 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.”
To mark the day, the flags at Veterans Memorial Lodge were lowered to half-mast.