National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Thursday September 30, 2021, marks Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day that honours the lost children and survivors of the Residential School System, their families and communities.

We strongly encourage the Rugby community to actively participate, using this day as time of acknowledgement, education and reflection on the tragic legacy left by the Canadian Residential School System, and how that continues to impact Indigenous communities today.

Public commemoration of this tragic and recent history is a vital step in the reconciliation process.

Rugby is played on the beautiful, traditional and unceded lands of many Indigenous communities, and the office of BC Rugby resides on the unceded, traditional territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

BC Rugby Orange Shirt Day Logo


September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day, an Indigenous-led commemorative day that honours the survivors of the Residential School System and remembers the children who did not return home.

Wearing orange relates to the experience of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. In 1973, Phyllis was six years old when she entered the St. Joseph Mission Residential School outside of Williams Lake, BC, wearing a brand-new orange shirt, which was taken from her on arrival.

Phyllis’ story led her to champion Orange Shirt Day and the “Every Child Matters” movement.


Between 1831 and 1998, there were 140 federally run Indian Residential Schools that operated in Canada. The last school closed 23 years ago.

As part of the response for recognition and accountability, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was formed. The Commission ran between 2008 and 2015, when it released its final report detailing 94 Calls to Action. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a response to Call to Action 80.

Five Calls to Action directly relate to sport: Sports and Reconciliation Calls to Action #87 to #91 can be read here.

Read the Truth and Reconciliation’s 94 Calls To Action here.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation


Education and learning a key step on the path to reconciliation.

Learn more about the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

To learn more about the rich and diverse cultures, voices and histories of Indigenous peoples, visit here.

Explore this extensive list of shareable resources and documents collated by the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (ISPARC).

Explore National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Events courtesy of Indigenous Tourism BC.


You can help show support by donating to the Orange Shirt Society or Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

Orange Shirt Society raises awareness across Canada about the Indian Residential Schools and their continuing impacts on individuals, families and communities, and promotes the concept of “Every Child Matters”

The IRSSS provides essential services to Residential School Survivors, their families and those dealing with Intergenerational traumas.


Support is available for anyone requiring emotional assistance. The IRSSS can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-721-066.

The Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate help to all Indigenous peoples across Canada. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call toll free 1-855-242-3310.