National Day for Truth and Reconciliation


In the summer of 2021, the Government of Canada proclaimed a new statutory holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, to be commemorated on September 30 every year.

This day is designated as an opportunity to “recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools.” It was originally proposed in 2015 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which, under Action 80, called upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish a statutory holiday “to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”

Over the summer of 2021, we were reminded of the sad and shocking experiences of residential school students, including deaths and burial in unmarked graves. 

Taking time to reflect on the tragedy of residential schools on this date is important. September 30 coincides with “Orange Shirt Day,” a commemoration of the residential school experience and a gesture to support the healing journey of survivors and their families. Since 2013, wearing an orange shirt has been symbolic of remembering Phyllis (Jack) Webstad’s story , representing all that was taken away from Indigenous Peoples by residential schools. 

On this day, you are encouraged to wear an Orange Shirt, reflect on the residential school experience, engage in conversations to advance truth and reconciliation. Alone, with your family, or together with others in our community, please take time to remember, reflect and consider ways we can better listen and learn from Indigenous Peoples, for the benefit of all people in Banff and across Canada. 

The Town of Banff and Parks Canada are coordinating an activity to help people reflect on the truth of the past and discussion on reconciliation for our future:

Date: Thursday, September 30, 2021
Time: 2-4 p.m.
Location: Banff's Central Park
ProgramModerated panel discussion with local Indigenous leaders with connection to the lands and waters of the Bow Valley

Date: Thursday, September 30, 2021
Time: 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Doors open 30 min prior
Location: The Lux Cinema
Program: Screening of Gord Downie’s Secret Path
Cost: Free
Note: The Lux is participating in the provincial Restrictions Exemption Program. Proof of vaccination will be required for entry.

Truth and Reconciliation booklets are available at Town Hall Monday, Sept. 27 to Wednesday, Sept. 29 during regular business hours and in Central Park Thursday, Sept. 30 from 2-4 p.m.



Lux Cinema