National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Each year, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day for all Canadians to commemorate the history and legacy of the residential school system.

The day honours the children who never returned home, and the resilience, dignity and strength of Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history, and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process. It's a chance to engage and educate people about our nation’s colonial history and how it has and continues to impact Indigenous communities.

To learn more about Coquitlam’ commitment to Reconciliation, visit

Wear Orange

Before it was nationally designated in 2021, September 30 was an Indigenous-led, grassroots commemoration known as Orange Shirt Day. It marked the beginning of the school year, when Indigenous children were removed from their communities to attend residential schools. The last residential school in BC closed in 1983; the last residential school in Canada closed in 1996. Wearing orange throughout September, and especially on September 30, honours both the Survivors and those who didn’t make it home.

About the Survivors’ Flag

The Survivors’ Flag is flown at Coquitlam City Hall on September 30. It was created by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in partnership with Survivors and National Indigenous Organizations. It was conceived in 2021 following confirmation of mass unmarked graves found on the grounds of former residential schools. As members of the public inquired about how they could show respect, many Survivors discussed remembrances and the creation of a Survivors’ flag as a salient and accessible symbol to honour the lives impacted by the residential school system. Each element depicted on the flag was carefully selected by Survivors from across Canada. 

Local Truth and Reconciliation Day Events and Learning Opportunities

The City of Coquitlam acknowledges that every individual is at a different stage in their own learning, and is reconciling with their personal history with Indigenous peoples in Canada. The City is sharing the following information to help support community learning and unlearning, and to encourage local residents and businesses to join the City in its journey of reconciliation.

  • Coquitlam Public Library – Indigenous Film Festival – Series of short films, documentaries and feature length films covering Indigenous culture, history and experiences. Running Wednesday, September 27 (City Centre branch) and Friday, September 29 (City Centre and Poirier branches). Free drop-in, no registration required. Visit for full schedule and film details. See also the library’s page for Truth and Reconciliation which includes links to their Indigenous Collection and reading lists for all ages.
  • Dogwood Pavilion – Truth and Reconciliation: Tea, Bannock and Learning: Join us from 2 – 3 p.m. on Thursday, September 28 as Dogwood Pavilion acknowledges the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This free event is presented in partnership with the Dogwood Pavilion Seniors' Society to highlight the importance of reconciliation through guided discussions. Registration required for this free event. For more information or to register, search Course ID 00137969 at
  • Glen Pine Pavilion – Truth and Reconciliation Day – The City of Coquitlam and Coquitlam Public Library are offering space for reflecting and learning at Glen Pine Pavilion (1200 Glen Pine Court) from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 30. In addition to a showing of the film “Birth of a Family” at 2 p.m., there will resources to learn more about Truth and Reconciliation, light refreshments and children’s crafts. Free drop-in, no registration required. Learn more.
  • Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex – Orange Shirt Day Toonie Skate: Wear orange and skate with us on Saturday, September 30 from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. and 2:45 to 4:00 p.m. in honour of those affected by the residential school system and join us in reinforcing that Every Child Matters. This is a drop-in program; no registration required. Cost: $2/person and includes skate and helmet rentals.
  • Place des Arts – All My Relations: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation - Place des Arts on is honoured to host First Nations Artist and Educator, Christine Mackenzie, this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Last year, Christine presented and facilitated a powerful afternoon of sharing art that was appreciated by families of all ages. Christine will be back again from 1 – 4:30 p.m. on September 30 to share her unique art perspective around the importance of the cedar bough through a drawing and painting activity. Learn more or register.
  • Weaving our Story Towards Reconciliation – Short film released by Tsartlip First Nation artist Priscilla Omulo on September 30, 2022 as part of BC Culture Days and in honour of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The film spotlights an art project created with the community that acts as a memorial for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, now found at the Port Coquitlam Reflective Space in Blakeburn Lagoon. Watch online.
  • National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation – 2023 Virtual Lunch and Learns – A series for virtual learning sessions held from 10:30 – 11:20 am (PDT) throughout Truth and Reconciliation Week 2023 (September 25-30) featuring a range of speakers and providing opportunities to ask questions and engage in future conversations. Free; registration required. Learn more and register.

Some City of Coquitlam civic facilities will be closed and some services will be limited on Saturday, September 30 and Monday, October 2. For more information, visit

Learn More About Truth and Reconciliation

Learning about Indigenous people’s history and culture is a step each of us can take on the path to reconciliation.