The second 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.

Here are 7 things you can do on the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools.

Toronto Council Fire Indigenous Legacy Gathering

Head down to Nathan Phillips Square for a 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 more.

When: September 29th-30th, 2022
Where: Nathan Phillips Square

Commemorate Truth & Reconciliation Free Concert

The Royal Conservatory is putting on a free concert at Koerner Hall to honour the lives and knowledge of Indigenous people.

“Dancer, storyteller, and activist Sarain Fox guides an evening that includes Juno Award nominee Nimkii; then Rebecca Cuddy sings a song cycle by composer Ian Cusson and poet Marylin Dumont (all Métis) accompanied by the New Orford String Quartet and Philip Chiu; and Tomson Highway unveils his irreverent and freewheeling “Cree Country” band with singer Patricia Cano. Co-curated with Denise Bolduc,” the description says.

When: September 30th, 2022, 8 PM
Where: Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St West


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Forever Fest

This free festival is in support of the Legacy of Hope Foundation, an Indigenous-led charitable organization that raises awareness about the impacts on Indigenous peoples caused by residential schools.

Stop by for an all-Canadian celebration of music, arts, and cuisine, with the aim of bringing people together through “taste, sound, and education.”

When: September 30-October 2, 2022
Where: Maple Leaf Forever Park, 62 Laing St

Panel Discussion: Indigenous Perspectives on the Pope’s Apology

Hosted by award-winning Dënësųłinë́ and Métis writer Matthew James Weigel, this panel discussion will allow you to hear the perspectives of Treaty Six Territory members directly impacted by the Pope’s visit. 

“Learn more about what the apology means to those impacted by residential schools, its effects on reconciliation, and how this will shape Indigenous communities and intergenerational relationships across Turtle Island,” says the description. Registration is required to tune in.

When: September 30, 2022, 1 PM
Where: Register here

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.