On Friday, the second annual National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, Canadians will honour residential school survivors, their families, their communities and the Indigenous children who never returned home.
"Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process," the federal government says on its website.
Friday is also Orange Shirt Day, which began in 2013 to honour residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad, who had her orange shirt taken away on her first day at St. Joseph Mission Residential School. The shirt was a gift from her grandmother.
"The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations," the federal government says.
In Toronto, there are a number of events to mark the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
The City of Toronto says the day is "an opportunity to commit to the process of truth, reconciliation and justice with First Nations, Inuit and Métis" in Toronto and Canada.
Toronto Council Fire Indigenous Legacy Gathering
The Toronto Council Fire Indigenous Legacy Gathering at Nathan Phillips Square runs from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Organized by the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, in collaboration with the city, the gathering celebrates Indigenous cultures, traditions and languages through workshops, presentations, stories, teachings, dance, film and music.
Friday, day two of the event, will begin with a sunrise ceremony, followed by speakers, presentations, a marketplace and food vendors. There will be teepees in the square.
The TRUTH is a mobile art installation that will be at Fort York National Historic Site in the east end of Garrison Common from Friday, Sept. 30 to Sunday, Oct. 2 — including all night from sunset Oct. 1 to sunrise Oct. 2 as part of Nuit Blanche
The city says The TRUTH "stands against injustice and erasure, and advocates for self-reflection to honour truths found from within."
The installation is mounted on a flatbed truck that visits communities throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
"The monumental three-dimensional graffiti-style sculpture is a statement that pays homage and respect to the fact that we are living on Indigenous lands taken over by colonial treaties; treaties which did not honour the commitments made to Indigenous people nor respect them," the city says.
Honouring our Children
Honouring our Children is an event at Hillcrest Park (Christie Street and Hillcrest Drive) running from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Organized by Native Men's Residence (Na-Me-Res), it's intended to to remember and raise awareness of those impacted by residential schools.
The event will feature traditional drumming, a sacred fire and speeches by residential school survivors. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.