All City of Calgary vehicles will soon have magnetic orange ribbon decals on them.
The decals are meant to show the city's commitment to remembrance, truth and reconciliation with Indigenous people and the historic and ongoing trauma of the residential school system.
Cree elder Doreen Spence says to her, the ribbons represent the thousands of Indigenous children who were sent to residential schools and never made it home.
"Those ribbons will really do a lot to open people's hearts and open people's minds, hopefully, and educate people to the history of this country. This country has a dark history," she said.
The city will recognize the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the day is an important chance for people to educate themselves and their children.
"It's a good day to attend any public events that are going on, but really talk about what we're going to be doing in the future and this little gesture of putting this ribbon on all city vehicles, it's just a reminder, not just to city employees, but to anyone who encounters the vehicles, that every child does matter and that you cannot have reconciliation without having truth," he said.
The decals were unveiled during a ceremony that included an Indigenous blessing ceremony on Tuesday at the headquarters of the Calgary Fire Department.
"We acknowledge the harm that continues to be caused resulting from the legacy of residential schools and the harm that was done while the schools were in operation," said Calgary Fire Chief Steve Dongworth.
"We will always remember those who did not come home from residential schools and will honour those who attended and were hurt as a result."