September 30, 2022 marks the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. The Chinese Canadian Museum stands in solidarity with Indigenous peoples to observe and honour this significant day. We wear orange, with respect and empathy, for the truths that still need to be told, the ongoing efforts we all must make for reconciliation, and the wrongs of history that must be corrected.
Since 2013, Orange Shirt Day has taken place on September 30th to mark the time of year when thousands of Indigenous children across Canada were taken from their homes and sent to residential schools, separated from their families, communities, languages, and cultures. The ongoing findings of remains at residential schools are a stark reminder of the children who never made it home, and of the intergenerational loss and trauma Indigenous peoples continue to experience.
The history of Indigenous peoples and Chinese Canadians are intertwined with stories of cooperation, collaboration, and solidarity as together they faced racism and discrimination as marginalized communities. It is our collective responsibility to more fully understand the atrocities that have occurred on these lands and their impacts today.
On this day, the Chinese Canadian Museum will be offering a live English, Cantonese, and Mandarin reading of With Our Orange Hearts , written by Phyllis Webstad and illustrated by Emily Kewageshig, at our Vancouver exhibition space. This special program will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel to allow everyone across the province an opportunity for learning, reflection, and action to honour the lost children and Survivors of residential schools. Both our Vancouver and Victoria exhibition sites will feature resources to further individual learning and for families to introduce this important topic at home. Click here for program details.
We also encourage our community to wear orange and take time to deepen their understanding about the history and legacy of residential schools, and the resilience of Indigenous communities.
The Chinese Canadian Museum has curated a list of resources to encourage ongoing dialogue and self-reflection:
More on Truth and Reconciliation:
Revisit the Truth and Reconciliation Week 2021 online programs, presented by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to learn and reflect on the experiences of the Indigenous peoples.
For more educational resources, please join Truth and Reconciliation Week from September 26 to 30, 2022, presented by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: 94 Calls to Action in English or in a Chinese translation (translation by the CRRS).
Orange Shirt Day:
September 30 is Orange Shirt Day, a movement of commemoration inspired by the experience of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, a residential school survivor who had her new orange shirt taken away from her on her first day of school at St. Joseph Mission Residential School. Learn more about Orange Shirt Day.
Learn about the history of residential schools:
Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, University of British Columbia
A dedicated venue and digital space at the University of British Columbia for the public to seek support and resources on the history of residential schools.
Learn more about local heritage places and cultural heritage of Indigenous communities in Vancouver.:
A webpage with resources on the Indigenous communities in Vancouver by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation.
Children Books & Booklists:
Phyllis’s Orange Shirt, by Phyllis Webstad
Aggie and Mudgy, by Wendy Proverbs
In This Together: Fifteen Stories of Truth & Reconciliation, edited by Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail.
Recommended booklist for the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation by the Burnaby Public Library
National Film Board Orange Shirt Day playlist featuring stories about residential schools and their Survivors plus online collections of Indigenous-made films.
“British Columbia: An Untold History”: Episode 1 titled “Change + Resistance” highlights the perseverance of Indigenous peoples through years of oppression and criminalization in BC.