The third annual National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is coming up and in Toronto, there are many ways to participate.

This day is all about listening to Indigenous voices and perspectives, honouring the survivors of residential schools, and learning about reconciliation efforts.

It’s also a result of the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action.

Here are 7 things you can do on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to stand in solidarity with survivors, hear their stories, and participate in the effort toward reconciliation.

Toronto Council Fire Indigenous Legacy Gathering

Head down to Nathan Phillips Square for an annual two-day Indigenous Legacy Gathering, dedicated to showcasing and supporting Indigenous culture, tradition, and arts.

Put on by the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, this event will feature Indigenous presentations, performances, workshops, food vendors, artisans, and most importantly, many opportunities for listening and learning.

When: September 29th & 30th, 2023
Where: Nathan Phillips Square

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at The Toronto Zoo 

On September 30th, the Toronto Zoo’s Director of Indigenous Relations and Turtle Island Conservation Steward will lead a day of special programming.

The day will include a smudge ceremony at 9:15 AM followed by interactive experiences at the First Nations Art Garden.

Complimentary admission will be offered to all self-identifying Indigenous people, including First Nation, Inuit, Métis, and non-status First Nations people. Proof of identification will not be required.

When: September 30th, 2023, 9:15 AM to 2 PM
Where: The Toronto Zoo

A Day to Listen

Put on by the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF), A Day to Listen will partner with 540 media outlets and radio stations throughout Canada to give Indigenous voices a chance to be heard.

This year’s theme is Mino Bimaadiziwin, which means ‘the good life’ in Anishinabemowin.

Guests will speak on “Indigenous identity through conversations about representation in sports and entertainment, the fusion of traditional and contemporary music, land protection and the impacts of climate change, and more.”

When: September 29th & 30th, 2023
Where: Radio stations and media outlets throughout Canada

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Native Child and Family Services of Toronto Annual Pow Wow

This 26th annual Every Child Matters community pow-wow will take place in Dufferin Grove Park on September 30th.

The sunrise ceremony will be held at 6 AM, followed by grand entry at 12 PM and the retiring of flags at 5 PM.

There will also be dancing, drumming, and opportunities to support this important local service.

When: September 30th, 2023
Where: Dufferin Grove Park, 875 Dufferin Avenue

Toronto Public Library’s Indigenous Reading List

This day is about listening and learning from Canada’s Indigenous communities, so why not pick up one of these books from the Toronto Public Library?

Take a look at TPL’s yearly list of must-read titles written by Indigenous authors, writers, illustrators, and knowledge keepers for all ages.

You can also read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice.

National Film Board’s Indigenous-made Cinema Collection

You can watch films and documentaries that reflect on the residential school experience or one of the many titles in the National Film Board’s rich online collection of Indigenous-made films.

See the full collection here

Support and Give Back

If you don’t have your orange shirt yet, you can purchase one from an Indigenous artist or company that supports Indigenous causes or directly through the Orange Shirt Society.

You can also make a donation to the Indian Residential School Survivors (IRSS) Legacy project, and volunteer for local Indigenous organizations or causes.