The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation recognizes the legacy of residential schools, of which more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were forced to attend. These schools operated between the 1870s and 1997. This federal holiday, on September 30, honours the First Nations, Métis and Inuit survivors, their families, communities, and those perished. It also ensures that public recognition of their history and the legacy of residential schools remains a valuable part of Canadian history, as we learn about the impact the residential school system had on Indigenous Communities.

In May 2021, the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation discovered the remains of 215 children on the grounds of the former Kamloops Residential School. More remains have been located and the numbers keep rising as numerous searches continue to take place across the country. 

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was initially suggested in June 2015 in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report, as one of 94 recommendations. The federal holiday was officially established on June 3, 2021, when Bill C-5 was passed.

What is Orange Shirt Day?

Orange Shirt Day originated from the personal story and experience of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad in recognition of the harm the residential school system did to children's sense of self-esteem and well being, and is now an organization that works to educate the public and their  commitment is to ensure that everyone around us matters.

Phyllis (Jack) Webstad's Story

Orange Shirt logo

Learn more about the origins of Orange Shirt Day and their current work to help build the confidence of Indigenous youth and ensure everyone feels accepted.


Open book
Residential Schools and Indigenous Voices Book List

The EG Public Library has put together a list of relevant topic books and picture books for all ages.

Mayor Virginia Hackson on orange background
Message from Mayor Virginia Hackson

Mayor Virginia Hackson's Message for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Truth and Reconciliation in EG

Land Acknowledgement

Orange flag with every child matters on it

The Town of East Gwillimbury recognises and acknowledges the lands originally used and occupied by the First Peoples of the Williams Treaties First Nations and other Indigenous Peoples, and on behalf of the Mayor and Council, we would like to thank them for sharing this land. 

We would also like to acknowledge the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation as EG's closest First Nation community and recognize the unique relationship the Chippewas have with the lands and waters of this territory.  They are the water protectors and environmental stewards of these lands, and we join them in these responsibilities.

Flag raising ceremony

Mayor and Council are committed to raising a flag each year in honour and support of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. For 2023, the flag raising ceremony will take place on September 27, 2023 at 9 a.m. at the East Gwillimbury Civic Centre, 19000 Leslie Street. 

EG Public Library

The EG Public Library will be offering a Storywalk, as well as a series of book lists and collections of information to assist with your journey of learning and supporting the goals of reconciliation. 

Check out the full list of resources, from book lists, to videos, to crafts  Download the full list

The Library is screening a film called Twice Colonized on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, at SilverCity, Newmarket Cinemas

About the film: Aaju Peter works to bring her colonizers in Canada and Denmark to justice and provokes self-examination and personal responsibility among Westerners for imposing colonial ways. As Aaju launches an effort to establish an Indigenous forum at the European Union, she also embarks upon a personal journey to mend her own wounds, including the unexpected passing of her youngest son. 

Purchase tickets here.

Visit the EG Public Library Facebook Page for More Videos  Visit the EG Public Library Website

Wooden Hearts
Support Local Businesses

This page will continued to be built out as we connect with local community businesses. If you have or know of a local Indigenous business that should be added, please contact our Communications Team.



As more people learn about Residential Schools and Phyllis’ Story, many people want to wear an orange shirt to show their support of Residential School survivors and their families.  Should this feel like something you would like to do, we encourage you to support local Indigenous artists.  

Locally created orange shirts are available at: 

Island View Business Centre
7751 Black River Road
Sutton West, Ontario
L0E 1R0

Indigenous art circles
Indigenous Artwork

Check out EG's local Indigenous artists! 
Follow their work and support them!

Hayley Williamson

Lauri Hoeg on Facebook:
"Eagles in the East Studio"

Meadow Crate

Leanne Echum 

Dani Cotton

Lynn Mooney & Elayna McCue

Hilary Clermont