National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

About the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30, 2021 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. This day honours the memory of the Indigenous children buried on residential school grounds and honours Survivors, their families, and their communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process. September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day, a day to listen to and believe Survivors, their families, and their communities.

St. Thomas Public Library will be open on September 30, and we encourage our community to spend the day reflecting on the devastating legacy of residential schools in Canada. We welcome you to tie a ribbon to our fence in remembrance of found and yet-to-be-found Indigenous children. Every child matters.

The Indian Residential School Survivors Society Emergency Crisis Line is available 24/7 for anyone who may need counselling or support.

Call 1-800-721-0066 or the 24-hr crisis line 1-866-925-4419.

Quick Links:


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at the Library

Learn: Find Resources

Take a look at our book displays of Indigenous authors and learn about Orange Shirt Day, Truth and Reconciliation, and the Mount Elgin Industrial School.

Be an active participant in reconciliation by learning about the history of residential schools, the calls of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and issues that affect Indigenous communities across Canada today.

multicoloured ribbons hang on a black iron fence.

Reflect: Tie a Ribbon

In solidarity with Six Nations Public Library and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities across Turtle Island, St. Thomas Public Library is tying ribbons in front of the library to honour the memory of the children found and yet to be found at residential schools across Canada.

Every child matters.

We invite our community to join us in the weeks to come by tying a ribbon to the fence as an act of remembrance and reflection. Ribbons of all colours and materials are welcomed, as each child was unique, with individual hopes and dreams and a community who loved them.

four orange buttons on canvas background. Each button has Every Child Matters written in either Mohawk, Ojibway, Lenape, or Oneida language

Engage: Take a Button

Buttons are available in 4 Indigenous languages: Ojibway, Oneida, Mohawk, and Lenape. Take time to learn more about the language and communities of the button you select.

Thank you to London Public Library for creating and sharing the designs. Thank you to Alizabeth George-Antone, Indigenous Community Liaison Advisor with the City of London, for facilitating the translations with local language experts.

*VIRTUAL* Community Event: Chippewas of the Thames First Nation’s Orange Shirt Day 

Watch online by clicking here.


Photo by Andrew Gunn.

Mural: “All Are My Relatives” by Nancy Deleary

St. Thomas Public Library is honoured to host a remarkable new mural by Nancy Deleary, an accomplished artist and also a Cultural Coordinator at Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. Located above the outdoor reading garden at the St. Thomas Public Library, the artwork highlights the importance of storytelling, and will captivate the next generation of children who gather to read books and listen to speakers in the outdoor reading garden. 

Artist Statement by Nancy Deleary

“I grew up not knowing anything about who I am as a member of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. I could not speak my original language; I did not know what Chippewas did, and I had heard no stories about where we came from and what we had done.

This situation we were and still are in for many of us, was designed to be this way.

A thousand years ago my ancestors prophesized that there was going to be a force that would come to this land and disrupt their way of life.  A great migration of the Anishinaabeg […] began that saw many people leave their ancestral lands and travel west to settle around the Great Lakes and beyond to safeguard themselves. The language, knowledges and ceremonies were hidden and only recently have been surfaced to reteach those of us who were forced to forget.

There is currently a movement throughout the First Nations and Native American people of this continent to revitalize and reclaim who we are.

We have been told to share our knowledges, for it is our perspective that will aid in the situation our earth is in now. The detrimental effects of climate change are set in motion and decisions need to be made to secure life for the future.

We are now remembering, and we are now speaking.”

Part of the Track to the Future mural project generously funded by The Estate of Donna Vera Evans Bushell.



Regional Indigenous Communities

Oneida Language & Cultural Centre

Learn more about Oneida culture, history, traditions, and language through the amazing resource provided by the Oneida Language and Cultural Centre. 

Chippewas of the Thames First Nation

Learn about the history and treaty rights of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. There is also information about Mount Elgin Industrial Institute, Native Women’s Trail of Tears Barn Quilt Trail, and more.

Delaware Nation

Learn the incredible history of the Delaware Nation with this comprehensive resource.