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MNP stands with residential school survivors and their families on Orange Shirt Day: Honoring survivors and supporting reconciliation

September 30, 2021

MNP stands with residential school survivors and their families on Orange Shirt Day: Honoring survivors and supporting reconciliation

Orange Shirt Day is an annual monument for Indigenous peoples to rebuild community, collectively share their residential school experience and continue their journey toward healing and reconciliation. It is also an opportunity for all Canadians to hear survivors’ stories and stand in solidarity with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples across the country.

Most importantly, it is a call for Canada to reflect on its colonial history, acknowledge the damage caused by residential schools and other assimilationist policies — and commit to a just future that recognizes the needs, rights, and contributions of all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.

How you can commemorate Orange Shirt Day

Each year on September 30 we encourage you to learn more about residential schools and the transgenerational effects the residential school experience has on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples in Canada. Actively seek out stories of survivors and their families. Remember those who didn’t make it. And seek understanding around how and why participating in this conversation will support efforts toward reconciliation.

10 Ways to support Indigenous communities

  • Wear an orange shirt – Orange Shirt Day is an annual event that takes place on September 30 to commemorate survivors of residential schools. The orange shirt has come to represent a symbol for support for Indigenous communities, residential school survivors, and their families. Make it even more meaningful by purchasing an orange shirt from an Indigenous-owned business.
  •  Volunteer – Volunteering is a meaningful way for individuals, businesses, governments and other organizations to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and communities together. Donate your time and energy to contribute to reconciliation in Canada by supporting Indigenous-focused and Indigenous-led organizations working directly with First Nation, Metis and Inuit communities.
  • Shop Indigenous-owned businesses – A great way to support Indigenous communities - there are plenty of amazing local Indigenous-owned businesses across the country for you to explore. has compiled a comprehensive list for you to check out.
  • Find out who’s land you are a guest on – is part of the non-profit organization Native Land Digital, dedicated to mapping Indigenous lands across the globe. Log onto the platform and explore the interactive map to find out who’s land you are currently residing. Be sure to check out the other educational and community resources available on the site.
  • Donate – Another great way to support Indigenous communities is to donate to Indigenous-led charitable organizations working to promote healing and reconciliation in Canada. Here are several to chose from: Legacy of Hope Foundation, The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Foundation, the Orange Shirt Society.
  • Follow Indigenous activists – Follow Indigenous activists on social media. recently released a list of Indigenous activists making waves in their communities.
  • Read a book by an Indigenous author – Celebrate Indigenous culture and history by reading books written by Indigenous writers. There are tons of great titles that shape uplifting stories from and about Indigenous communities. There are also many great Indigenous-owned bookstores you could check out:
    • Barely Bruised Books (Ottawa, Ontario)
    • Goodminds (Brantford, Ontario)
    • Iron Dog Books (Vancouver, B.C.)
    • Librairie Hannenorak (Wendake, Quebec)
    • Massy Books (Vancouver, B.C.)
    • Theytus Books Publishing Horse (Sylix Territory on the Penticton First Nation)
    • Raven Reads (online subscription based)
    • Strong Nation (online)
  • Watch an Indigenous-made film – You can also celebrate Indigenous communities by watching movies created by Indigenous filmmakers. has a great list of Indigenous-made-must-watch films. They are stored by genre, with additional information about the creative team behind them.
  • Read the TRC report – the landmark Truth and Reconciliation Report, released in 2015, details how Indigenous populations have been treated in the country. It also provides 94 calls to action that people can engage in to support truth and reconciliation at a federal, provincial, territorial, and individual level. You can find it here:
  • Allyship – Stay committed to honouring Indigenous people after September 30. Solidarity from non-Indigenous people should be ongoing to continue to amplify and support Indigenous-led initiatives and causes throughout the year. 

Support line

Support is available for anyone affected by their experience at residential schools, and those who are triggered by the latest reports. A national 24-hour Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for survivors and those affected: 1-866-925-4419.


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