On June 3, 2021, the Government of Canada passed Bill C-5 to make September 30 the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Call to Action number 80. The day honours the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.
In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Day, the City of North Bay will be raising Every Child Matters flag on Friday, Sept. 29 at 9 a.m. in Leger Square outside City Hall.
The significance of this day is rooted in federal government legislation passed in June 2021, designating September 30th as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day is dedicated to recognizing the historical legacy of residential schools in Canada, responding to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The City respects National Truth and Reconciliation Day as a statutory holiday, which means City Hall and other administrative offices and facilities will be closed. Transit will follow its regular schedule and garbage and recycling collection will occur.
There are many ways to reflect on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and to learn about the impacts of the residential school system in Canada. Whether attending a community event or marking the day in your own way, residents are encouraged you to wear an orange shirt on this day to help spread awareness.
Both the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day take place on September 30. Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours the children who survived Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not. This day relates to the experience of Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) 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. It is now a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.
As part of the City's efforts to recognize and support the importance of Truth and Reconciliation and in recognition and out of respect for the people of Nipissing Nation, their heritage and culture and their connection to the lands on which the City of North Bay is located, an official naming ceremony was held on Sept. 22, 2022 for Shabogesic Beach. The ceremony included the unveiling of a monument in honor of Nbisiing Nation Chief Michel Zhaabgiizhik (Shabogesic), for whom the beach has been renamed.