September 30, 2021 marks the first time that the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (NDTR) will be recognized as a federal holiday. It is the first step of a long road towards reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous Communities, as we work to improve relations and heal as a united country. 

Why are we recognizing this day?

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 new federal holiday is to honour the First Nations, Métis and Inuit survivors, their families, communities, and those perished. It is also to ensure 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.

The remains of 215 children were discovered in May, by the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, on the grounds of the former Kamloops Residential School. More remains have been located since May, 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 officially established on June 3, 2021, when Bill C-5 was passed. This day will be observed every year on September 30.

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 Virginia Hackson and Council, on September 30 at 8:30 a.m., raised a flag in honour and support of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. 

 Watch the flag raising ceremony and see pictures from the event


Photo Gallery: NDTR 2021 will appear here on the public site.

Farmers' Market booth

Join us on Thursday, September 30 at the EG Farmers' Market from 2 to 7 p.m. as we will hosting a booth in acknowledgement of National Truth and Reconciliation Day.

  • We will be giving away free educational kits (while supplies last)
  • Come and colour a wooden heart orange and write a message on it in support/honour of the children who lost their lives or survived residential schools. These hearts will be displayed at the Farmers' Market.

Download Educational Pieces   

 View Pictures from the Farmers' Market 
Photo Gallery: NDTR-EGFM 2021 will appear here on the public site.

EG Public Library

The EG Public Library has put together a Residential Schools and Indigenous Voices Book List: a list of relevant topic books and picture books for all ages. 

Check out the Residential Schools and Indigenous Voices Book List  Download Visual Book List

Join bestselling, award-winning children’s authors David A. Robertson (The Barren Grounds, On the Trapline), Melanie Florence (Stolen Words, Just Lucky), and Jay Odjick (illustrator of Blackflies and Bear for Breakfast, written by Robert Munsch) for a discussion on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.

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