September 30, 2023 is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. On this day we recognize the First Nation, Métis and Inuit survivors of residential schools and commemorate those who did not return. We join with our partners, other organizations in our community and Destination Indigenous in recognizing the path towards reconciliation is ongoing.
September 30 is also known as Orange Shirt Day, and people wear orange T-shirts to acknowledge the impact of residential schools on Indigenous Peoples.
Many of our partners will be featuring special programming on September 30. Read on for an overview of important events happening throughout our community to help honour and reflect on this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN)
APTN and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation will unite once again on September 30 at 1 p.m. ET to co-host Remembering the Children, a commemorative gathering in honour of the third annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The 90-minute multilingual commemoration will be broadcast live across the country from Parliament Hill, on the unceded, unsurrendered territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation. Learn more about APTN lumi and sign up for a free trial to stream it.
Ways to honour Indigenous Survivors:
- Tune in to Indigenous programming airing from September 29 to October 1.
- Wear an orange shirt in solidarity with Indigenous communities on September 30.
- Make an ‘Every Child Matters’ sign or print off an orange shirt cut-out to display at home.
- Participate in a memorial walk or attend an event hosted by Indigenous community members.
- Donate to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the Residential School Survivors Society.
- Review the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and commit to at least one.
- Read books by Indigenous writers.
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR)
NCTR has an entire week of programming for all ages including free daily lunch and learn webinars hosted by Survivors to facilitate learning for Canadians on topics related to Truth and Reconciliation. NCTR is also hosting free virtual education programs for Grades 1-12 with pre-recorded videos and live sessions.
Tune into the live national broadcast from Parliament Hill in Ottawa as NCTR and APTN memorialize the children lost to the residential school system and honour Survivors and their families. Remembering the Children begins at 12pm CDT/1pm EST/11am MST.
Join the Wa-Say Healing Centre’s third annual Orange Shirt Day Survivor’s Walk and powwow on September 30. Head to The Forks for 11:00 a.m. and meet at Oodena Celebration Circle. The participants will make their way from The Forks, through downtown Winnipeg and then to Canada Life Centre for the Orange Shirt Day powwow which starts at 1:00 p.m.
Oyate Techa Riders will lead the walk and the event will be hosted by Michael Esquash Senior. The event will include Drumming by Spirit Sand Singers and other performers.
The Forks National Historic Site | Forks Market Road
Located in the heart of The Forks, the Agowiidiwinan Centre invites visitors to delve into Indigenous history and the Numbered Treaties. The Centre is steps away from the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, historically where Indigenous Peoples traded and resided over 6,000 years ago. In the Centre, guests can expand their knowledge about treaties and their impact on Canada’s cultural and legal landscape through an array of interactive tools, visual panels and special educational events.
The Centre is a fully self-guided experience and visitors are invited to “follow the river” from one panel to the next, as indicated by the winding blue pattern on the floor. *Admission to the Agowiidiwinan Centre is free. Located at 15 Forks Market Road near The Forks Market Plaza. The Agowiidiwinan Centre welcomes guests Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Take in Niimaamaa, a big, bold stylized sculpture of a pregnant woman. This 30-foot outdoor piece by artists KC Adams, Jaimie Isaac and Val Vint represents motherhood, Mother Earth and new beginnings. Niimaamaa means “my mother” to Cree, Ojibwe, and Métis speakers.
Realize the dense history of Indigenous People in Manitoba through stories and legends taking in these monuments and more with a guided walking tour like, One Heart, Two Rivers, Four Directions. The tour can be accessed by downloading the Parks Canada National App on Apple or Android devices.
For more treaty history, visit the Lower Fort Garry National Historic site north of Winnipeg, where Treaty No. 1 was signed in 1871. You can also head to the middle of the city where Upper Fort Garry Provincial Park pays homage to this region’s history through a massive Heritage Wall full of art, inscriptions and a sound and light show that plays regularly throughout the day and evening.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) | 85 Israel Asper Way
CMHR is a national museum and centres on human rights education, so they have a permanent Truth and Reconciliation exhibition to honour and remember the Survivors of residential schools on Level 7, in the Inspiring Change gallery.
There are several exhibits throughout the museum that explore the tragic story and legacy of residential schools and reinforce how everyone has an important role to play towards reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. These exhibits are a great starting off point for conversations and examining justice.
There is also a traveling art installation called the Witness Blanket that was created by master carver Carey Newman to recognize the atrocities of the residential school era, honour the children and symbolize ongoing reconciliation.
CMHR is offering free admission on September 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre
Experience the unveiling of six new, Indigenous written and Indigenous-mentored plays presented by the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.
Pimootayowin: A Festival of New Work is a free script-reading journey through Indigenous storytelling taking place in the lobby of the Tom Hendry Warehouse Theatre (140 Rupert Ave) from September 24-29, 2023.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. each night for 7 p.m. readings. This is a free, non-ticketed event.
Assiniboine Park Conservancy
Head to the Indigenous Peoples Garden at The Leaf for a Fall Equinox Sacred Fire with Knowledge Keeper Cree Crowchild on September 30 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Participants will be introduced to the teachings of tobacco, prayer ties and smudge prayer ceremony. This event is free and open to all.
Fifteen per cent of sales earned on September 30 from admissions to Assiniboine Park Zoo and The Leaf will be divided evenly and donated to the Orange Shirt Society and the Manitoba Aboriginal Sports and Recreational Council.
Royal Canadian Mint | 520 Lagimodière Blvd
In 2022, a Truth and Reconciliation Keepsake coin was designed by three talented Indigenous artists: Leticia Spence representing First Nations communities, JD Hawk representing Métis communities and Jason Sikoak representing the Inuit. The three talented artists worked together with Survivors to create a thoughtful design marking the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. You can read more about the story behind the design on their website.
All proceeds from the sale of the Truth and Reconciliation Keepsake will support the work of the Na-mi-quai-ni-mak Community Support Fund (Na-mi-quai-ni-mak is an Anishinaabemowin name meaning “I remember them”). It is a community fund to assist Survivors and their communities established by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
2023 National Indigenous Peoples Day commemorative $2 coin was introduced this year and featured the combined work of three artists: Megan Currie, English River First Nation; Myrna Pokiak (Agnaviak), Inuvialuit Settlement Region and Jennine Krauchi, Red River Métis.
Learn more about the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Artists’ designs and stories behind the coins that have been shared by the Mint.
Le Musée de Saint-Boniface Museum | 494 Taché Ave
When: September 30 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Viewing and discussion of ‘StoryShifters’ film featuring stories of Indigenous women’s resilience. Afterwards there will be a discussion with Chris Larsen and Pauline Hince.
Registration required. It’s free to attend but you must register.
Manitoba Museum | 190 Rupert Ave.
Manitoba Museum is hosting Orange Shirt Days and will provide complimentary admission to the Museum Galleries, Science Gallery and Planetarium from September 30 to October 2 between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Program highlights include a self-guided tour of exhibits and videos relevant to the history of Residential Schools, a language learning booth, reflection station, a collaborative hands-on activity using art to bring learning and healing to those who take part, and multiple film screenings. Guests are encouraged to wear orange.
The Children’s Museum | 45 Forks Market Road
In recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Children's Museum is offering free general admission on September 30. They will be open regular hours 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with special programming from 11:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Visitors are invited to come on a journey of education and reflection with Louis Riel Institute as the Museum hosts a Métis Paper Vest workshop with programming provided by Elder Barb Nepinak. The teepee will be on display for special story times at 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. and bannock will be served.
Support local restaurants & makers
Support local Indigenous-led makers by visiting Cree-Ations Artist Showcase on Main Street where you'll find handmade moccasins, art, beadwork and so much more. Teekca’s Aboriginal Boutique, which offers handmade, Manitoba-made gifts, now has three locations across the city, including a large shop at The Forks Market.
Also at The Forks, the new Manitoba Mukluks shop is a real stunner and a great spot to find some of the best footwear made on Turtle Island. In the hip South Osborne neighbourhood you'll find Anne Mulaire, a Winnipeg fashion designer of French-Métis descent committed to fair trade, environmental stewardship and inclusive sizing.
To experience Ojibway, Cree and Métis cuisine, check out our new Indigenous Culinary Guide. Learn about pizza joints like Shelly’s Indigenous Bistro (the pizza is served on bannock) and T-Town Style Pizza; Métis spots showcasing many local suppliers serving breakfast through dinner like Bistro on Notre Dame and Promenade Brasserie; new food truck The Indigenous Kitchen and Feast Café Bistro, owned by Chef Christa Bruneau-Guenther, a Food Network regular.
Plus, there’s Manoomin, located within the Wyndham Garden Winnipeg Airport hotel owned by Long Plain First Nation. Manoomin is 'wild rice' in Ojibway, and the menu (breakfast through dinner) is provided by Red Seal chef Jennifer Ballantyne, a member of Opaskwayak Cree Nation.
WAG-Qaumajuq | 300 Memorial Blvd
For Nuit Blanche, WAG-Qaumajuq will be celebrating community and closing down the corner of Memorial Blvd and St. Mary Ave to host a free outdoor street party. With this programming, they intend to build upon the calls to action and decolonizing initiatives of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission through ceremony and culture. Think Indigenous drag performances, Mamawi Pow Wow club dancers, music and more.
Between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. WAG-Qaumajuq welcomes the community to take part in workshops, tours and talks that centre the experiences of Indigenous children forced to attend Residential Schools.
- 11:15 a.m.: Tour - Truth and Reconciliation
- 12 p.m.: Tour - Gasoline Rainbows & Anaanatta Unikkaangit
- 1 p.m.: Talk - How to Read Historical Canadian Artworks Through a Decolonizing Lens
- 1:30 p.m.: Talk - Reconciliation for Newcomers to Canada
- 2 p.m.: Presentation - How to Combat Residential School Denialism with Dr. Sean Carleton
- 3 p.m.: Conversation - Journey Towards Reconciliation, a Conversation with Dr. Stephen Borys and Julia Lafreniere
- 4 p.m.: Keynote with Senator Mary Jane McCallum
Regular admission applies. All funds will be donated to Sunshine House. Indigenous folks are always free entry.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts will honour Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at their September 29 game in Winnipeg by wearing a special orange New Era jersey for pre-game warmup which will be available for online auction after the game. Funds raised will be donated to Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement (WASAC).
Their entire line up features talented Indigenous artists:
- Juno nominee and Cree musician, Desiree Dorion, will perform in the pre-game tailgate prior to kick-off.
- Rhonda Head, a multi-winning Mezzo Soprano from Opaskwayak Cree Nation will sing the anthem in Cree.
- Powwow dancers, hoop dancers and drummers hosted by Walking Wolf Singers and Dancers will lead the team onto the field.
- The halftime show will feature jiggers and honour five Indigenous-centered safety organizations in the city.
Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada | 2088 Wellington Ave
The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada (RAMWC) is committed to honouring and commemorating the history of Indigenous People and aviation in Western Canada and committed to creating a safe space for reconciliation to occur. They have worked on honouring Calls to Action 62 and 67, relating to age-appropriate education programming on residential schools and practices related to their archives.
RAMWC offers a self-guided tour of the Indigenous stories featured in the museum; please ask the front desk upon arrival. Admission is always free for Indigenous visitors.
Métis artist and owner of Borealis Beading, Melanie Garnache will be hosting a beginner beading workshop on October 5, 2023, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the RAMWC. Learn the significance of beading to the Métis people and how it has shaped Manitoba’s identity.
Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF)
The DWF is partnering with major media outlets and radio stations throughout Canada on A Day to Listen, airing September 30 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
This year's theme is Mino Bimaadiziwin which means 'the good life' in Anishinabemowin and will be hosted by Aysanabee, Shoshona Kish and William Prince. Guests will speak about Indigenous identity through conversations about representation in sports and entertainment, the fusion of traditional and contemporary music and much more.