National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, held annually on September 30, is an opportunity for Canadians to learn about the legacy the residential school system.
September 30 has recently been proclaimed as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Since 2014, people from across Canada have worn orange shirts as a reminder of what happened to more than 150,000 Indigenous children who attended residential schools. The orange shirt movement was initiated by Phyllis Webstad who is a Northern Secwepemc from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. When Phyllis was six years old she was taken to St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School. Her grandmother had bought her a new orange shirt for the occasion, however that shirt was taken away from her never to be seen again.
NOSM has been observing Orange Shirt Day on September 30 with guest presentations by residential school survivors and encouraging students, faculty and staff to wear orange t-shirts. This year, Isaac Murdoch, an Anishinaabe artist and activist, has once again allowed us to print his design on t-shirts which says: “Bring the Children Home. It’s Time.” This is especially meaningful given the confirmed reports of gravesites at several residential schools, with more discoveries expected. The harsh truth we acknowledge is that thousands of children died while at residential school.
Because the past several months have been extremely difficult for residential school survivors, we have invited two speakers who are not survivors but can speak about gravesites at residential schools. We know this will be difficult to listen to but hearing the truth must happen before reconciliation can occur. On Wednesday, September 29 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m., the day before the first ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, all members of the NOSM community are invited to listen, learn, reflect on the impacts of residential schools, and recently uncovered truths of the unmarked burial sites of Indigenous children at and near Residential Schools locations across Canada. Empowering families and communities—as we collectively support their decision as to how to best honour the burials of loved ones who did not make it home—is one step towards reconciliation.
NOSM Events & Resources
NOSM Whole School Event – Wednesday, September 29th 2021 12:00 – 2:00 pm
Please note, this event is subject to change.
TRC Call to Action #24: We call upon medical and nursing schools in Canada to require all students to take a course dealing with Aboriginal health issues, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, and Indigenous teachings and practices. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.
Health Sciences Library Resources
Indigenous Affairs Resources
- City of Thunder Bay
- Virtual Walk/Run for Truth
- Thunder Bay – Orange Abinoojiinh Movement
- Washagamis Bay First Nation Powwow Sept 17 – 19
- Wauzhushk Onigum (Rat Portage Powwow Island) Sept 25
- Wahnapitae First Nation – Orange Shirt Day Gathering – Sept 25
- Couchiching First Nation Honoring the Children Powwow Sept 30
- Fort William First Nation Powwow Sept 30 – Oct 1
- Red Rock Indian Band Powwow Oct 1 – 3
- Grand Council Treaty 3 Truth and Reconciliation Gathering and Powwow in Kenora Sept 30
- Grassy Narrows Powwow Dancer Showcase Oct 2
- Truth and Reconciliation Week Online Event from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
NOSM Store Orange Shirt Designs
On Sale Now Bring the Children Home. It’s Time.
Bring The Children Home. It’s Time. (2021)
Bring The Children Home. It’s Time. The artist, Isaac Murdoch, said it is a rendering of what is believed to be hundreds of years old pictograph discovered near the site of the old residential schools in Spanish, west of Sudbury. “Years ago, it was prophesized that a man was going to come to our lands, and he was going to steal our children. He was going to have two serpents living in his body, one in each arm,” said Murdoch. “Each serpent represented a government. It was told that if we tied feathers in the child’s hair, the children would find their way back home.” The pictograph, Murdoch added, was created using white paint – a departure from the red clay paint that is typically seen. “Hundreds of years ago, they actually foretold what was going to happen there. The pictograph is so unique and incredible. Unfortunately, it comes with a sad story,” he said. Murdoch originally created the image used in The Honour Project about three years ago. “It was a friend of mine who wanted to start a project where they would make moccasins to send to the little babies that were taken from their mothers and placed in foster care,” he said. “She asked for an image and I said, I will make an image, but it has to be used for everybody. I took some historical context and kind of contemporized the image, and it took on a life of its own.” The rendering is being used by the Bring Our Children Home initiative that aims to end the pain, suffering, and death that Indigenous children have experienced as a result of their involvement with the Canadian child welfare system. Read more here.
Past NOSM Store Orange Shirt Designs: Truth (2020)
This Truth design in support of the Orange Shirt Day campaign was a collaborative creation in house with community consultation of 6 different languages in Northern Ontario of the word Truth. The whole planning group is very please to share this new design. Both designs are available to purchase this year and we have added more sizing options also in response to feedback received that youth sizes are of interest to purchase as well.
The 6 languages used in this year new second NOSM Orange Shirt Day design:
- ᑖᐯᐎᐧᐣ – Cree syllabics
- Debwewin – Anishinaabemowin
- Tâpwewin – Cree
- Tapwe – Michif
- Vérité – French
- Truth – English
Past NOSM Store Orange Shirt Designs: Survived. Still Here. (2019)
The artwork created for NOSM’s Orange Shirt Day campaign comes from Isaac Murdoch and says in bold lettering: Survived. Still here. The Orange Shirt Day champions at NOSM hope that the strong statement will give you pause to consider how you can work towards reconciliation in your own life and through your work at NOSM. The art statement, graciously provided by Isaac, explains his vision for the artwork:
It’s no secret the devastating effects the Residential Schools continue to have on individuals, families, and communities. This image is to commemorate the absolute resilience of Indigenous people as they navigate through healing and resurgence for lands. The Lodge shown is filled with a family. It is to show that we have full autonomy as Nations over our children, and when we do, we stop the genocide against Indigenous people. The Heart is Love. The flowers represent growth and traditional medicine. These are both needed on our healing journeys. The lightning bolts signify the power of our lodges and the families that sit in them. When people, lodges, and spirit connect, magic happens. As Indigenous people, we survived and are still here casting medicine across the earth for healing. Isaac Murdoch, Anishinaabe artist and activist.
Shop & Donate
NOSM Orange Shirts for purchase at NOSM Online Store now. Donations can be made in support of the Truth Award for an Indigenous medical student at NOSM and Indigenous Educational Initiatives. Charitable donation receipts will be issued for all gifts over $25.00.