National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Take part in these events
September 20, 2021

Sept. 30 is the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It’s a day to reflect on and commemorate the legacy of residential schools.

Also known as Orange Shirt Day, it’s a time we can all work toward reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples – on Sept. 30 and every day.  

Here at Georgian, we recognize reconciliation is the responsibility of all of us.

With support from Georgian’s Indigenous Services, we have several events planned leading up to Sept. 30, and we encourage you to join us. Now is always the right time to take a moment to do something positive for yourself and our communities.


Every Child Matters flag raisings

A view through a tree's branches of buildings in the distance next to a grassy area with a cenotaph and flagpoles.

Please join us for flag raisings at Georgian’s campuses in the days leading up to Sept. 30.

The flag raising at our Barrie Campus will be livestreamed on Georgian’s Instagram.

These are happening live at the flagpoles in front of our campuses, but unless you’re already on campus to work or study, please stay home and watch virtually.

Every Child Matters flag raising schedule

Barrie Campus
At the cenotaph in front of C building
Monday, Sept. 27
10 a.m.

Smudging will be available for anyone joining us in person who wants to participate.

There will be a number of speakers, including Georgian President and CEO Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, and Mary-Anne Willsey, Chair of the Anishinaabe Education and Training Circle.

There will also be a prayer by Visiting Elder Ernestine Baldwin and hand drumming.   

An orange background with Every Child Matters written in black and white lettering, next to black-and-white feathers tied together.

Midland Campus
Thursday, Sept. 30
10 a.m.

Muskoka Campus
Tuesday, Sept. 28
11:30 a.m.

Orangeville Campus
Monday, Sept. 27
1 p.m.

Orillia Campus
Monday, Sept. 27
9 a.m.

Owen Sound Campus
Monday, Sept. 27
Noon


Custom Every Child Matters backgrounds

An orange background with "Experience Georgian" written in the top-right corner and "Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters, Sept. 30, OrangeShirtDay.org, #OrangeShirtDay" written in the top-left corner with an image of an orange T-shirt that says Every Child Matters on it.

We’ve created two custom Every Child Matters backgrounds – in orange and blue – that people are welcome to use in their Microsoft Teams video calls and meetings.

They are now available for use in the Teams app under “Apply background effects.”

A navy blue background with "Experience Georgian" written in the top-right corner and "Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters, Sept. 30, OrangeShirtDay.org, #OrangeShirtDay" written in the top-left corner with an image of an orange T-shirt that says Every Child Matters on it.

Every Child Matters T-shirts and buttons for sale

An orange T-shirt reading Every Child Matters with an image of three people holding hands.

Get your Every Child Matters orange T-shirt and button at our Barrie Campus or online.

The items were purchased from the Orange Shirt Society and are being sold at cost.  

Please note: Employees and students who wish to have their orders sent through interoffice mail must place their orders by end of day Sept. 22.

Orange Shirt Day fact of the day

An orange background with a pattern overtop of white outlines of T-shirts.

All month long, we’ve been sharing facts related to Orange Shirt Day on Georgian’s social media.

Follow along and share them with your friends, family and colleagues.


Conversation on reconciliation

A person with dark grey hair, beaded earrings, black shirt and red jacket with black flowers, smiles at the camera.

Join us for an engaging conversation with Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Honourary Witness to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Hearing.

Cynthia has written several academic articles focused on the history of intergenerational trauma that Indigenous Peoples continue to experience in their day-to-day lives.

She is also deeply committed to environmental and humanitarian causes.

In 2013, Cynthia joined Lakehead University as the Vice-Provost for Aboriginal Initiatives.

In 2016, Lakehead appointed her as the first Chair in Canada dedicated to Truth and Reconciliation after years of advocacy for Indigenous peoples. Her mandate includes providing advice to Lakehead’s president on issues regarding Indigenous Peoples, and engaging people across Canada in dialogue on diversity, collaboration, and inclusion.

Cynthia is happily married, a proud mother and grandmother, and has lived most of her life on the shores of Lake Simcoe.

In the Spirit of Reconciliation: A National Day for Truth and Reconciliation event

  • Thursday, Sept. 30
  • 11 a.m. to noon

Truth and Reconciliation Trail

Rocks painted orange placed into the shape of a heart on top of a black tablecloth.

Grab a brush and paint rocks orange to line the walking trail behind Georgian’s Orillia Campus.

The orange rocks are meant to symbolize the lives lost in Canada’s residential schools, and the trail will remain in place in an effort toward continuous learning for all Georgian students and employees.

Painting the rocks:

Placing the rocks:

  • Meet in front of the campus and walk as a physically-distanced group to the trail behind the campus
  • Thursday, Sept. 30
  • 10:15 a.m.
An adult wearing an orange shirt, black shorts, hoop earrings, and black cap reading "Indigenous Education" and a child wearing a black dress stand outside at a table covered in a black tarp and paint rocks orange.

Decolonization Café

On Wednesday, Sept. 29, Emma Greenfield from Indigenous Services, in partnership with Jill Esmonde  from the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), will be hosting a Decolonization Café in advance of Sept. 30, a day which has recently been recognized as the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. It is also known as Orange Shirt day, a day of education and remembrance about residential schools in Canada.

In many ways this year has been a heavy one. The unmarked graves of Indigenous children have been uncovered across the country, with many more yet to be unearthed. Canadians are increasingly aware of the genocidal legacy of residential schools, and while these stories have touched each of our hearts, it can be difficult to know what to do next. How do we sit with a grief so unfathomable? How do we grapple with this legacy of violence and betrayal?

The café will take place from 10 a.m. to noon. Please join us for an opportunity to share with each other, to listen, to learn. We will discuss the role of humility and its importance in this moment, and how we can ground in love to move to courageous action.

Everyone is welcome to attend.


6 ways to honour reconciliation beyond Sept. 30

1. 4 Seasons of Reconciliation

This course is aimed at empowering people to educate themselves to develop a renewed relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples through transformative multi-media learning. 

Circular seating around an outdoor firepit in front of a building with large glass walls, and a blue sky covered in white clouds.

2. Participate in Indigenous Knowledge Sharing Sessions

These are hosted by Georgian’s Indigenous Services and are open to all Georgian employees and students. All upcoming sessions are promoted through the employee and student portals and the college’s social media.

3. Participate in activities outside of the college

Check out events from local Indigenous friendship centres, other institutions and organizations, and virtual events. For all Georgian events, visit our events calendar.

4. Hold team meetings to discuss truth and reconciliation

Not sure where to start? Explore resources on the Georgian Library website, including learning what Indigenization is and why it’s important at the college.

5. Engage in Indigenous media

A great place to start is the Georgian Library’s Indigenization page, where you can find lists of Indigenous videos and books to check out.

6. Familiarize yourself with the Indigenization resources in Georgian’s online library

Not only can you find great book ideas at the Georgian Library, but you can expand your knowledge with educational resources, traditional teachings, Indigenous history and government resources, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada documents, and more.