Kwey Kwey, She:kon, Taanshi, Ullaquut and Hello,

September 30 is Orange Shirt Day, Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

It is an annual day of remembrance to mark the history and intergenerational impacts of residential and day schools and to honour their survivors, including Phyllis Webstad, whose story sparked a national movement.

The legacy of Canada’s residential school system lies in our not-so-distant past. It is recent enough that some current Carleton students are survivors. Intergenerational trauma is felt by many First Nation, Inuit, and Métis people.

Carleton will fly an Every Child Matters flag on Friday, September 29 and Saturday, September 30. Community members are encouraged to wear orange Every Child Matters shirts to commemorate the day, and to take time to reflect meaningfully on the responsibilities we all have to conciliation in Canada—on September 30 and beyond.

Carleton is committed to conciliation as outlined in Kinàmàgawin, Carleton’s long-term Indigenous strategy that outlines 41 calls to action that will make our university a more welcoming space for current and future Indigenous students, staff and faculty members. All Carleton students, staff and faculty are encouraged to stay informed, engaged and to read the Kinàmàgawin Progress Report.

This year for Orange Shirt Day, we have created a dedicated web page with background information as well as links to articles and events. The day is an opportunity for non-Indigenous allies to show leadership in teaching their communities about this significant part of Canadian history. It is also a day when Indigenous peoples reflect on their own families’ experiences with assimilationist and colonial policies. In recognition of this, the Centre for Indigenous Support and Community Engagement team will be available leading up to Orange Shirt Day to support in the planning of on-campus events, but the office will be closed on September 29 to allow staff to mark the occasion appropriately. Ongoing learning and allyship by non-Indigenous people are critical to conciliation.

To support this journey, the Centre for Indigenous Support and Community Engagement is continuing its Kinàmàgawin Indigenous Learning Certificate program this fall and winter. Participants in these workshops discuss anti-Indigenous racism in Canada, institutional anti-Indigenous racism and education, and Indigenous student experiences, among other subjects.

Resources are available for Indigenous members of the Carleton community who need support. On-campus Indigenous counsellors are available to help and the Residential School Survivor Support Line is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 1-866-925-4419.

To all members of the Carleton community, please take time on Orange Shirt Day—and every day—to reflect, learn and take action towards conciliation in Canada.


Kahente Horn-Miller
Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Teaching, Learning and Research

Benny Michaud
Director, Centre for Indigenous Support and Community Engagement

L. Pauline Rankin
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

Co-Chairs, Carleton University Strategic Indigenous Initiatives Committee

Wednesday, September 27, 2023 in ,
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