Truth and Reconciliation

SD48 wishes to invite you to participate in showing support to local Indigenous communities, particularly throughout the month of September, raising awareness of national Truth and Reconciliation. We wear the orange shirts in honour of survivors, those who never returned, and the ongoing legacy of Residential Schools. Currently, we are in a time where our ally-ship is important on a continuous basis and not only a visible event on the official Orange Shirt Day. The local First Nations will continue to guide us, and we are preparing to show solidarity in community events on September 30th, National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, as well as other days which will be landmarks in the history of this country.

Orange Shirt Day: The annual Orange Shirt Day on September 30th opens the door to the global conversation on all aspects of Residential Schools. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind.  A discussion all Canadians can tune into and create bridges with each other for reconciliation.  A day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do those that have been affected.  Every Child Matters, even if they are an adult, from now on. Visit for more information.

National Truth and Reconciliation: The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) is a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of Residential School Survivors, families and communities are honoured and kept safe for future generations. Learn more about the NCTR at

The Survivors' Flag: The Survivors’ Flag is an expression of remembrance meant to honour residential school Survivors and all the lives and communities impacted by the residential school system in Canada. Each element depicted on the flag was carefully selected by Survivors from across Canada, who were consulted in the flag’s creation. More information can be found here.

Report on Indigenous Women and Girls: Sacred and Strong is a report about the health and wellness of Indigenous women and girls living in B.C. Grounded in Indigenous wellness perspectives, it contains data, stories and teachings about Indigenous women's mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health and well-being at every phase of life.  Read the report

Talking to Kids About Residential Schools: Monique Grey Smith provides educators and parents with helpful resources and starting points for important conversations.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action

The Whole Truth About Residential Schools: Then and Now:  Beginning Sept. 15, 2021, Nelson will host a new, free webinar series entitled "The Whole Truth About Residential Schools: Then and Now." The series will provide a comprehensive overview of the Residential School System and the intergenerational impacts and actions resulting from the Indian Residential School Settlement agreement. Participants will learn practical strategies and recommended resources to help support student learning about residential schools and tips on navigating these crucial K-12 classroom discussions. With the recent findings of unmarked graves of children who attended residential schools, this series is recommended for educators and students to learn more about the truth of these schools. Register through Nelson's website today!

Urban Iskwew: Older elementary, middle school or high school. Art, Design or as a self-regulation tool. Downloadable colouring pages with indigenous design and themes done in the style of adult colouring books.

Flags at Half-Mast: In light of the uncovering and confirmation of the remains of 215 children found at a former residential school in Kamloops in May 2021, the Canadian flag was lowered to half-mast at all SD48 school sites. We learned from the Ministry of Education that school districts may use independence in deciding when to lower and raise the Canadian flag to symbolize respect and honour. With the guidance of our local Indigenous communities and with the support of the Board of Education, we decided to keep the flags at half-mast until we can install the Truth and Reconciliation flag, known as the Survivor's flag, across the district, in honour of the Indigenous survivors and their families. We will continue to fly the Canadian flags at half-mast and raise and lower it to honour occasions such as Remembrance day until full installations of the Survivor's flag are complete across School District 48. This is in support of the community around us and our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation. We have acquired Survivor's flags for each school district site and will raise them once we receive and install the flag poles. We plan to raise the Canadian flag from half-mast for use in the traditional way as a symbol of honour once we raise the Survivor's Flag in remembrance of the ongoing legacy of residential schools. We hope the installations across the district will take place sometime in the fall - please check in on our website as we will update the school community when this occurs


Wear Orange: We wear orange shirts, particularly throughout the month of September, in honour of survivors, of those who never returned, and of the ongoing legacy of Residential Schools. If you are interested in purchasing an orange shirt, we encourage you to purchase it from one of the listed retailers on There are other ways to wear orange and show your support too. For example, an orange ribbon or strips of an orange t-shirt can be worn on a wrist. Some schools have used paper to cut out small orange t-shirts to pin onto students’ clothing. 

Mental health Supports for Students, Families and Staff:

24/7 supports:

 British Columbia Resources:

 National Crisis Hotlines:


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 2022 at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre(September 30 - October 2): A weekend of reflection and learning. Thanks to the generous support from Proud Partner CIBC, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the SLCC will be free admission all weekend, September 30 – October 2. For full programming, join us on September 30th or for quieter reflection through the weekend. More information here.

Truth and Reconciliation Commemoration Event in Squamish (September 30): Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation members will hold a downtown Truth and Reconciliation Commemoration Event on Friday, September 30, 2022, from 12:30-4:00 pm. Meet at the corner of Winnipeg St. and Cleveland Ave to start the walk to U Siam Pavilion. 1:30 – Speakers at the Pavilion. 2:15 – Drumming and Singing. Attendees are encouraged to wear Orange shirts. More information here.

A ceremony and viewing of Orange Shirts in Squamish (September 30): Brennan Park Recreation Centre, Central Foyer, on Friday, September 30 at 5 p.m. with the artists in attendance. The ceremony is anticipated to be approximately one hour with 30 minutes for the blessing and introductory remarks and 30 minutes for attendee conversation. Orange Shirts is a new public art installation and collaboration between Squamish Nation artist Xwalacktun and Glenne Campbell located at Brennan Park Recreation Centre. The artwork is a re-conception of the National Flag of Canada and showcases acknowledgement and collaboration of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and Canadian values. Funding for the project was provided by Squamish Arts through the 2022 Public Art Grants.

Virtual Truth and Reconciliation Week (September 27-October 1): The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is hosting a free five-day virtual event to continue the conversations from Every Child Matters. Open to all Canadian schools for youth grades 5-12, this event will provide historical workshops, exclusive video content and activities for students, supported by artistic and cultural performances by First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists. Districts are encouraged to reach out to the local Nations to collaborate and plan in preparation for this week and Orange Shirt Day.

emhám: Join Arts Whistler and the Lílwat Nation’s Ts’zil Learning Centre every Thursday evening in September for Indigenous workshops, performances, music, knowledge sharing, and storytelling at the Maury Young Arts Centre. Don’t miss this weekly opportunity to build stronger relationships, share in Indigenous knowledge, and foster greater understanding leading up to National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. More information can be found here.