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.

Take Action – Moose Hide Campaign Day

Thursday, May 16, 2024, marks The Moose Hide Campaign day, a grassroots movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and boys who are standing up against violence towards women, children, and 2SLGBTQIA+ people.

The inspiration for the campaign came to co-founders Paul Lacerte and his daughter Raven in 2011 during a moose hunt on their traditional Carrier territory along the Highway of Tears in Northern BC – where so many women have gone missing or been murdered. Since then, annual gatherings and ceremonial fasts have taken place, and more than two million squares of moose hide have been distributed in thousands of participating communities, schools, and organizations across the country.

Violence against women and children remains an unacceptable reality. Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16. More than 6,000 women and children are housed in emergency shelters each night across Canada, seeking refuge from abuse. But violence is preventable. To date, efforts to address the crisis of domestic violence have been led by women and women’s organizations. The Moose Hide Campaign is inspired by the belief that men and boys also need to take action to end violence and develop a culture of healthy masculinity.

To learn about the story of this campaign and ways to support, please visit the Moose Hide Campaign’s YouTube Channel or website.

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. Stay tuned for details regarding this year's flag raising. 

Learn about the local Chippewas of Georgina Island

Ahneen, Biindigen! Hello, Welcome!

Join them as they share stories about their home and community, Georgina Island First Nation. Their proud heritage is a living tribute to their ancestors and Chippewa people. 

Visit the Chippewas of Georgina Island website

History of Residential Schools

Canadian Geographic: Residential Schools in Canada

Canada Geographic: Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada

The Guardian: Cultural Genocide: The Shameful History of Canada’s Residential Schools - Mapped

Government Articles

Government of Canada: Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement

Government of Canada: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

Government of Canada: Delivering on Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action

Government of Canada: First Nations in Canada

Ontario Government: Archived - Reconciliation

Global News: National Day for Truth And Reconciliation Will Not Be Provincial Holiday in Ontario

Related Resources

CBC News: Tk'emlúps Nation extends invitation to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Reconciliation Canada

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM): Indigenous Voices

Video: How to Talk About Indigenous People - Video

TEDx Talks Video: Creating Environments For Indigenous Youth to Live & Succeed

TEDx Talks Video: Truth and Reconciliation

Various reports on Truth and Reconciliation – Resources shared by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

The Truth and Reconciliation 94 Calls to Action

Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada – 2015

Calls to Action Accountability: A 2023 Status Update on Reconciliation – Yellowhead Institute Report

Jordan’s Principle – A child-first principle ensuring First Nations children get the services they need when they need them, in memory of Jordan River Anderson. It is available to all First Nations children registered under the Indian Act, Indigenous children, and non-status children.

For more information, learn more here. To see who is covered, please visit here.

The Indian Association of Alberta’s 1970 Red Paper – A report presented to the federal government in 1970, prepared under the leadership of Harold Cardinal and the Indian Association of Alberta, in response to the 1969 White Pape

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP - Youth Version)


Angry Inuk – An Inuit documentary that speaks to "the reality of Inuit life with the story of their challenge to both the anti-sealing industry and those nations that mine resources on Inuit lands while simultaneously destroying the main sustainable economy available to the people who live there." The documentary can be purchased here.

Canadian Shame: A History of Residential Schools – TEDx Talks

Creating Environments for Indigenous Youth to Live and Succeed – TEDxKitchenerED

How to Talk About Indigenous People

Identity and Post-Secondary: A First Nations Experience – TEDxKitchenerED

Indigenous Voices – ROM at Home

The Art of Survival: A Modern Day Inuit Odyssey Through the Arts – TEDxYYC

Truth and Reconciliation – TEDx Talks

News Article

CBC News: Tk'emlúps Nation extends invitation to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – CBC News

'We called it 'Prison Island': Inuk man remembers forced relocation to Grise Fiord – CBC News

Articles and Blogs

Decolonization is not a metaphor

So why don’t we just abolish the Indian Act?

Reclaiming Indigenous Place Names – Article by Christina Gray and Daniel Rück

What is your theory of change these days? – Blog post by Dr. Eve Tuck

Blog from Chelsea Vowel, a Métis writer, and educator whose work intersects language, gender, Métis self-determination, and resurgence


 "The Story of a National Crime: An Appeal for Justice to the Indians of Canada" – A book written by Dr. Bryce in 1922 that outlines the government's role in establishing and maintaining conditions that led to the high number of student deaths in residential schools and the government's deliberate decision to not take action

Recommended books by Indigenous authors – 2017 List by Book Riot

“Some of the best books by Indigenous writers in Canada” – 2023 List by Kobo

Decolonizing Equity –  Book edited by Billie Allan and V.C. Rhonda Hackett

Toolkits and Action Plans

Montreal Indigenous Community NETWORK 2019 Indigenous Allyship Toolkit

Towards Braiding – Resources on ethical and rigorous engagement with Indigenous communities by Elwood Jimmy and Vanessa Andreotti

Urban Indigenous Action Plan

Digital Map Tools

Whose Land (a web-based app that identifies Indigenous Nations, territories, and Indigenous communities across Canada)

A searchable global map of Indigenous territories, languages, and treaties by Native Land Digital


Reconciliation Canada

FNMIEAO (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Education Association of Ontario)

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