National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
The Canadian Health Coalition is observing the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day. Both the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day take place on September 30.
The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.
Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours the children who survived Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not. This day relates to the experience of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, on her first day of school, where she arrived dressed in a new orange shirt, which was taken from her. It is now a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
Our coalition seeks to eliminate systemic racism in health care. Frontline health workers, especially those from marginalized and racialized groups of people, must be included in efforts to eliminate systemic racism and other barriers to care.