Go back

Today marks the 1st federal holiday honouring the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. This coincides with Orange Shirt Day, an Indigenous-led commemorative day that takes place each year on Sept. 30th.


What is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation?


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a new federal holiday taking place each year on Sept. 30th.

This day honours the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. Public commemoration of this painful history and its ongoing impacts on Indigenous communities is an important part of the reconciliation process.

The BC Emergency Medicine Network office is closed on September 30, 2021, in the spirit of reconciliation. Please join us in honouring this day through personal reflection, education and awareness activities, or by participating in Orange Shirt Day.


What is Orange Shirt Day?


Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day to honour children who survived Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not. Orange Shirt Day began in 2013 and takes place on Sept. 30th each year.

It honours the experience of Phyllis Webstad, 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. Orange Shirt Day now symbolizes the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations. Read Phyllis Webstad’s story in her own words.

To show support for Orange Shirt Day, organizers encourage people to consider how they can contribute to positive change for Indigenous communities, and to wear the commemorative orange shirt. It’s strongly recommended to purchase a shirt form an Indigenous-owned organization, such as the Orange Shirt Society, whose proceeds contribute to support Indian Residential School Reconciliation and survivors.


BC Emergency Medicine Network Resources



Supports for Indigenous Peoples


  • KUU-US Crisis Line Society: Provides a First Nations and Indigenous specific crisis line available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, toll-free anywhere in BC at 1-800-588-8717. Alternatively, call direct into the Youth Line at 250 723-2040 or the Adult Line at 250 723-4050, or online.
  • Mental Health Benefit via FNHA: A plan that covers counselling services from a qualified mental health provider, including psychologists, clinical counsellors and social workers. Your plan will cover as many hours of counselling as you and your provider determine you need. Even if you do not have status, you may be eligible for mental health coverage through one of the specialized mental health programs funded by Indigenous Services Canada. Please see this page here for how to access this service
  • Pacific Association of First Nations Women (PAFNW): Has a variety of FREE participatory programs and inclusive events to support wellness, including Brushings, Drum Circles, and even one on one counselling services to support you during COVID-19 or when you’ve just had a hard day. Please see here for more information
  • National Indian Residential School Crisis Line
    This support line has been set up to provide support for former Residential School students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1 866 925-4419.


What can settlers do?



Other Resources




Add public comment…


See All