National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Events

September 28 to 30, 2023

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, participated in a series of reflection focused activities in Ottawa to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Public commemoration of the painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30 honours the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. In keeping with the day’s education theme, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is an important opportunity for all Canadians to learn, to understand and to build respect for one another, as well as to share their knowledge with others.

September 28, 2023

The Governor General participated in Gidinawendimin – We Are All Related, a youth‑focused event, featuring Survivors, Knowledge Keepers, and Indigenous music and culture.

Her Excellency delivered a speech in honour of Survivors of residential schools, and all the lives and communities impacted by the residential school system in Canada. The event was organized by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

September 29, 2023

The Governor General  hosted Learning and Healing Through Arta special intergenerational discussion with a residential school Survivor, an artist and local youth on the importance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (NDTR).

The discussion, included Canadian artist Meryl McMaster, of nêhiyaw (Plains Cree, from Red Pheasant Cree Nation), British and Dutch ancestry, whose art tells Indigenous stories and helps bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Residential school Survivor Elder Solomon Wawatie, and Rachelle Metatawabin, of the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition, shared their experiences to educate others. The speakers discussed the importance of learning about residential schools, what reconciliation means, and how art can inspire reflection on important national issues.

Following the discussion, local youth had the opportunity to take part in a hands‑on activity alongside the Governor General and Meryl McMaster to deepen their understanding of Canada’s true history.

September 30, 2023

The Governor General joined Survivors, Indigenous leaders and dignitaries for the national commemorative gathering Remembering the Children being held on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The gathering was hosted by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR), in partnership with the Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN) and the Algonquin Nation.

Her Excellency delivered remarks in memory of the thousands of children who were sent to residential schools and those who never returned home.