Government of Canada
September 30 is Canada's National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt day, a day to remember the thousands of Indigenous children who lost their lives at Indian Residential Schools across Canada from the time of Confederation until 1996.
As Albertans mark this day, the Commission reaffirms our commitment to reducing the barriers Indigenous people face when accessing our services and seeking out human rights supports. Part of our commitment includes actively working to make our services more culturally relevant to Indigenous people.
In 2022, the Commission had two sacred eagle feathers blessed at a ceremony in Edmonton. They are now available for use during meetings and events, in conciliations and mediations, and at Tribunal hearings. Parties can use them to swear an oath or hold them while giving statements or evidence during a human rights tribunal hearing.
The Commission also recently created a new section on our website to specifically address Indigenous human rights issues. It is our hope that this section, as well as other new information throughout the site, will enable us to better serve Indigenous people in Alberta. We will continue to move forward on the path of reconciliation in partnership with Indigenous people, communities, and organizations to reduce racism and discrimination in Alberta.
Message from the Chief of the Commission and Tribunals
To recognize this important day, read a message from Kathryn Oviatt, Chief of the Commission and Tribunals, Alberta Human Rights Commission.
On September 30, the Elders Knowledge Circle Society, a First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Elder-led collective, will launch the Elders Story Project at Calgary’s Arts Common. Elders will share their personal stories about their residential school experiences and healing journeys, while demonstrating the resilience and strength of Indigenous Peoples and the power of their traditional practices.