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Every Child Matters - The Library commemorates the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation! 

Thursday, September 23, 2021

OTTAWA - It was recently announced that September 30 is now a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation which commemorates the history and lasting effects of Canada’s residential school system, and honors Indigenous survivors, and their families and communities. This day has been known as Orange Shirt Day, a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission Residential School Commemoration Project that took place in Williams Lake, BC, in May 2013. The events were designed to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Wearing an orange shirt on September 30 has become a way to show that Every Child Matters and increase our own awareness of Indigenous experiences, history, and the residential school system. 

Ottawa Public Library encourages OPL cardholders to explore its collections, programs, events and other resources to increase their awareness and understanding of the  Anishnābe  Algonquin host nation peoples as well as about other First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples who live, work and study in this territory and across Canada. OPL is committed to supporting and advancing truth and reconciliation through our collections, programming, and resources within the context of our Vision, Mission and Values.

We are also committed to meaningful consultation with Indigenous partners and host communities as we plan our way forward. 

OPL is proud to support and participate in the Indigenous-led Every Child Matters movement and to mark Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with a series of virtual programs and initiatives: 

  • On September 28, we invite children to join us for Orange Shirt Day Assembly: Live Stories with Christine Sioui Wawanoloath, a Wendat Abenaki author and artist. Join us at 12:45 pm for the English program and at 1:45 pm for the French program. The programs will be live streamed on our OPL Facebook page, and the recordings will stay until October 5.  


  • On September 29 at 7:00 pm, we invite you to join Jenny Buckshot Tenasco, a Residential School Survivor, and her daughter Anita Tenasco (members of the Kitigan Zibi  Anishinabeg community) for Kìyàbadj Kidandanizimin. We are still here. They will give insight and reflect on how Canada's Residential School system has impacted First Nations communities.  


  • On October 4 (French) and October 7 (English), KAIROS Canada is inviting us to a virtual KAIROS Blanket Exercise. Developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and educators, the KAIROS Blanket Exercise (KBE) is an interactive and experiential teaching tool that explores the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in the land we now know as Canada. Places are limited and registration required. 


Visit your local branch to find a special display highlighting Indigenous artifacts and recommended books for all ages. For children’s resources to read and share, be sure to check out our Orange Shirt Day Teaching Toolkit . 

In addition to inclusive and general messaging on OPL services and offering, the Library has dedicated a web hub for easy access to full range of Indigenous content and themes from Indigenous creators on the OPL Indigenous web page and at Indigenous-related community events.