CLBC recognizes Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Friday, September 30

On September 30, CLBC recognizes Orange Shirt Day and the new National Day for Truth and Reconciliation declared by the Government of Canada and marked by the provincial government of B.C. This day commemorates 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. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of residential schools and the legacy they have left behind.

Last year, CLBC’s Indigenous Relations team led by Joanne Mills, Executive Director of Indigenous Relations, distributed over 650 Orange Shirt Day shirts to all CLBC staff, which features special “Every Child Matters” artwork commissioned by CLBC and painted by Wyatt Collins who is Nlaka’pamux from the Nicola Valley and has Autism.

Wyatt explains his inspirations included, “children on the red road. In Indigenous culture the red road signifies a spiritual path and being connected to everything, respecting all our relations, Mother Earth and Father Sky. It reminds us to honour our ancestors. It is walking the right path in life and believing in a power higher and greater than us.”

CLBC announces new Cultural Safety Policy

As part of CLBC’s work toward reconciliation, we have developed a new internal policy that will shape how we work with Indigenous individuals, families, and communities: a Cultural Safety Policy.

This policy describes the cultural safety principles and practices that will guide how CLBC staff and service providers engage, support, monitor, and plan with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit individuals, their families and/or support networks, and communities. It promotes inclusion, anti-racism, equity, reconciliation, and flexible service delivery for Indigenous individuals CLBC serves.

More information on the policy, including opportunities to engage with individuals, families, and service providers about culturally safety, will be shared in the coming months.

What is cultural safety? Cultural Safety is an outcome of respectful engagement based on recognition of the power imbalances inherent in government and other systems, and the work to address these imbalances. A culturally safe environment for Indigenous peoples is one that is physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually safe without challenge, ignorance, or denial of an individual’s identity.

Respectful ways of observing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:

Listen to stories of residential school survivors, wear an orange shirt in solidarity, donate to Indigenous-led causes, and choose to personally fight for one or more of the 94 calls to action.

For more information about other upcoming events happening in our province, please visit:

About National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, September 30

In 2021, the Government of Canada declared September 30 the “National Day for Truth and Reconciliation”. The declaration of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation responds to a Truth and Reconciliation call to action which involves the creation of a statutory day “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.”

This day of commemoration was also prompted by the tragic rediscovery of the unmarked graves of 215 children that were found near the former residential school of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation in Kamloops. The publicity of this event shocked and reminded Canadians of the dark history we share. In total, across Canada, 2,207 unmarked graves of indigenous children have been discovered outside of Indian Residential Schools since the 1970s.

About Orange Shirt Day, September 30

Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours the children who survived residential schools and remembers those who did not. This day relates to the experience of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwepemc (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.


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