Observing Truth and Reconciliation Day

Today, many of us are thinking critically about what it means to observe Truth and Reconciliation Day. The Canadian Hockey League will join communities from across the country remembering the survivors, their families, and thousands of children who died in residential schools across Canada.

Warning: The content below contains details of residential schools that may be upsetting. Canada’s Indian Residential School Survivors and Family Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.

We are on an ongoing journey for truth and reconciliation in support of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit community members. For fans who are looking to be supportive but aren’t sure how, we encourage you to join us in reviewing the sources below and respectfully observing Truth and Reconciliation Day.

Wear Orange

Before being officially recognized by the federal government, the date was known as Orange Shirt Day and was inspired by the story of Phyllis Webstad and her orange shirt being stripped of on her first day at a residential school in Williams Lake, British Columbia.

The CHL encourages fans to wear orange to honour the Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools in Canada.

Learn the History

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) educates Canadians on the injustices inflicted on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit community members. Listed below are reports from the NCTR, Government reports, legislation, and Truth and Reconciliation reports. The CHL recommends reviewing the 94 Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action with an emphasis on the Sports and Recreation calls to action on page 14.

· Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action

· NCTR Reports 

· NCTR Education Resources for Children

· Read Phylllis Webstad’s book “The Orange Shirt Story”

· Indigenous Hockey Research Network– The Indigenous Hockey Research Network is a collective of researchers dedicated to uncovering and engaging with hockey’s Indigenous past, present, and future.

Participate in an Event

Catch up and tune into the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s week of events on YouTube and linked throughout the schedule page.

Tune into CBC’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation special on YouTube that honours the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples affected with music tributes and ceremonies in Indigenous communities across the land at 8:00PM ET.

Listen and Be Considerate

Together, we can be an active ally and participant in reconciliation to make a positive impact on our history moving forward, today and everyday. It is crucial that we continue to reflect on the legacy of residential schools and our history as we stand with the Indigenous communities with open hearts and willingness to listen and learn.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was first observed in Canada in 2013 to honour the healing journey of Canada’s residential school survivors and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. The Government of Canada recently passed legislation to make the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation be a federal statutory holiday beginning this year, which is a direct response to one of the commission’s calls to action. Some schools, businesses and different levels of government observe the day also known as Orange Shirt Day.

For more information and resources on the history of residential schools in Canada, please visit the

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