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Here’s what’s happening in Greater Victoria for National Truth and Reconciliation Day 2023

There are lots of ways to honour survivors and support Indigenous peoples and cultures this week

Robyn Bell
September 27, 2023
Events
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Here’s what’s happening in Greater Victoria for National Truth and Reconciliation Day 2023

There are lots of ways to honour survivors and support Indigenous peoples and cultures this week

Robyn Bell
Sep 27, 2023
Victoria Orange Shirt Day founders, Eddy Charlie and Kristin Spray. Photo: City of Victoria
Victoria Orange Shirt Day founders, Eddy Charlie and Kristin Spray. Photo: City of Victoria
Events
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Here’s what’s happening in Greater Victoria for National Truth and Reconciliation Day 2023

There are lots of ways to honour survivors and support Indigenous peoples and cultures this week

Robyn Bell
September 27, 2023
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Here’s what’s happening in Greater Victoria for National Truth and Reconciliation Day 2023
Victoria Orange Shirt Day founders, Eddy Charlie and Kristin Spray. Photo: City of Victoria

This Saturday will be the 10th anniversary of Orange Shirt Day, which first began in 2013, and the third annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This is the first year the day is marked as a statutory holiday—one of the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

There are plenty of opportunities to dive deep into the history of residential schools, the stories of survivors, and learn how to move toward reconciliation. 

South Island Powwow | Saturday | 10am

Honour residential school survivors and celebrate Indigenous culture at this annual event open to all—last year, 10K people attended. Take in traditional song and dance, explore local vendors and information booths, and grab some bannock. Gates open at 10am, with grand entries happening at 12pm and 6pm.

Xe Xe Smun’eem (Sacred Children) shirt sale | Today - Saturday 

Buy a shirt from the organizers of Victoria Orange Shirt Day, who brought the event to the city in 2015. Founded by Eddy Charlie, a residential school survivor and his friend Kristin Spray, the Xe Xe Smun’eem design—which currently flies at CRD headquarters—is available on T-shirts, blankets and baby onesies. The items will be sold in front of Caffe Fantastico on King’s Rd. until Friday and will be available at the South Island Powwow.

UVic Orange Shirt Day gathering | Friday | 11:45am-1:30pm 

Listen, learn and engage at this event honouring residential school survivors, taking place at the UVic quad.

Public Lunch and Learns | Thursday & Friday | 11:20am

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is holding virtual “lunch and learns” this week that are open to everyone. Each session will run 50 minutes and will feature different Indigenous speakers.

Truth and Reconciliation at Cinecenta | Friday & Saturday | 5pm, 7:30pm

See the film Bones of Crows, which explores the life of a Cree woman who survived residential school and became a code talker in the Second World War. The Victoria Symphony also performed the film's score, as covered by Capital Daily.

Reconcile: Candid truth from survivors | Saturday | 4:30-7pm

An event focused on hard truths and healing, this evening will highlight the voices of residential school survivors and ‘60s scoopers. There will be a screening of the film We Were Children and talks from those who have been personally affected by the harms of colonialism. 

Truth and Reconciliation Ride | Saturday | 9:15am

Capital Bikes will again host its ride to honour survivors, starting at Songhees Park—where Songhees members will speak on the effect of the residential school system—to the South Island Powwow, where there will be a bike valet available. 

Sooke Library Orange Shirt Day | Saturday | 11am

Truth 4 Reconciliation members will hold an event at the Sooke Library. Members ask that non-Indigenous people come prepared to share what they have learned, how they intend to move toward truth and reconciliation and what actions they have taken to accomplish this.

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Robyn Bell
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