National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day

This September 30th, 2022 marks the 2nd annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day, an event that has been recognized annually since 2013. This is a day to honour and uphold survivors and intergenerational survivors of the residential school system, and to commemorate those who didn’t return home.

At Upper Island Counselling, we recognize this day as a reminder to reflect and act on our responsibilities to dismantle systemic racism and colonialism which continue to impact Indigenous peoples in Canada. We know that systemic racism and colonialism permeate our mental health care system and we are actively working to decolonize our own practice, through ongoing education and training for our staff, self-reflection, and commitment to supporting Indigenous clients in connecting with Indigenous mental health initiatives, healing and well-being. We see this day as a reminder but acknowledge this work is an ongoing, daily process.

Below is a list of resources for support, local events, and opportunities for ongoing learning:

Mental Health Supports for Indigenous peoples:

Former residential school students can call 1-866-925-4419 for emotional crisis referral services and information on other health supports from the Government of Canada.

Indigenous peoples across Canada can also go to The Hope for Wellness Help Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for counselling and crisis intervention.

Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat.

Local Events:

Campbell River: The Laichwiltach Family Life Society and KDC Health invite you to their 6th Annual Walk, starting at Spirit Square in Campbell River Friday, the walk begins at 11 a.m.

Comox Valley: Indigenous Women's Sharing Society and Unbroken Chain are hosting a Spirit Walk in the Comox Valley, starting at Simm’s Millennial Park at 11 a.m. Event Flyer or Facebook Event Page


We Know the Truth: Stories to inspire reconciliation (44min)

Honourable Murray Sinclair - Impacts of Residential Schools, Orange Shirt Society (12min)


The Story of Orange Shirt Day

The Survivors Speak: A Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action 

48 books by Indigenous writers to read to understand residential schools

Formal Learning Opportunities:

San’yas Anti-Racism Indigenous Cultural Safety Training Program

We highly recommend employers encourage their staff to attend a San’yas Core Training program. There are four sector-specific courses (health care, mental health, justice, and child welfare) as well as the Core Foundations Course which is suitable for people in any workplace.