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Reconciliation Day

30th of September 2022

Reconciliation Day

Written by Sophia El Bakir

On 30th of september 2022 was Truth and Reconciliation Day. Students came in numbers wearing orange shirts and showing their support for Indigenous peoples as well honouring the healing journey of residential school survivors.


Campus Life and Leadership (CLL) has been doing Orange T-Shirt Day in collaboration with the First People’s centre since 2017. But this year took a particular importance as it happened in a very interesting context. For the past months, there has been a lot of media coverage on the unmarked graves in which thousands of children from residential schools were buried, as well as on the disappearance of countless Indigenous women. 


That week, CLL had sold t-shirts throughout the whole week, helped Indigenous people to conduct workshops, and started a student pledge.

“We wanted to figure out what we can do with students so that they can consider and understand and take responsibility for their own education because we know that they are not always taught this in school.” –Billi-Jo Poirier, organiser within Campus Life and Leadership.

Thus, they came up with the student pledge, a list of promises, encompassing our basic duty to get informed, to induce affirmative actions, and to take awareness of settler privilege in this society. These pledges were put around the upper atrium and volunteers encouraged passers-by to read it, and if they agreed, to sign it. 

Then on the 30th, many students came in an orange t-shirt. Some also went to the march for Indigenous people’s rights.

The DSU and its clubs also helped raise Indiginous people’s voices. Indeed, the communications team used the DSU’s social media platforms to create stories and posts in order to promote Indigenous artists, writers and other influencers. As for the clubs, they were setting up charities for clean water in reservations and the Dawson Feminist Union was promoting the Native Women’s Shelter and raising donations.  Throughout the whole week orange t-shirt pins and buttons were distributed, its ultimate goal raising awareness.

Later, many students went to the march because they believed that the institutions were not doing enough to help Indigenous people’s, because they wanted to do their part in repairing the harm they caused and because they realize that colonisation is a system that is still present today.

“I think this part of Canada’s history is a shame, and I think we should hold each other accountable for what happened and learn and move forward without forgetting about what happened.” — Student at the march

Celebrating Truth And Reconciliation Day is a great gesture, but as many students have said during their interview, it remains infinitesimal when looking at what can be done.

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