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Every Child Matters: Markham marks 1st Day of Truth and Reconciliation with online events Sept. 30

City remains open during federal holiday, but many regional services closed for the day
Sept. 29, 2021
Heidi Riedner

The City of Markham will mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in conjunction with Orange Shirt Day on Sept. 30.

The federal statutory holiday, recommended as one of the 94 calls to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, honours survivors of residential schools and those who never came home.

While federal government employees will have a paid day of leave to reflect on and learn about the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, the Ontario government did not follow suit in making it a statutory holiday.

The city also remains open, but has online events scheduled so the public can reflect on Indigenous culture and history.

The Markham Public Library will offer a Truth and Reconciliation webinar Thursday, led by Curtis Vinish, from noon to 1 p.m. Topics include anti-racism, decolonization and reconciliation.

Leading up to and on Sept. 30, you are encouraged to reflect, learn about and honour the survivors, their families and communities about the true history and legacy of residential schools in Canada.

A 'What does Orange Shirt Day mean to me?' activity is also available online in recognition of the harm residential schools had on the generations of Indigenous children’s sense of self-esteem and well-being and as an affirmation of our continued commitment to ensure that everyone around us matters.

Download and print an Orange Shirt Day graphic that can be completed with markers or other art materials, or download and complete a digital version that can be shared on social media. Remember to use the hashtag #OrangeShirtDay and tag the City of Markham on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Orange Shirt Day began in Williams Lake, B.C. in 2013 and was inspired by the story of residential school survivor, Phyllis Webstad, who wanted to pass along the message that every day, every child matters.

In 1973, six year-old Phyllis was given an orange shirt by her grandmother for her first day of school. On her first day at St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School, her clothes -- including her beloved orange shirt -- were taken away and never returned.

The city encourages everyone to wear an orange shirt Sept. 30 to recognize the harm caused by residential schools and to express our commitment to uphold the value and worth of all people.

For more information, resources and to register for the free webinar, visit the City of Markham’s virtual events page.

York Region will be observing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and, as a result, many regional services will be closed for the day.

Access York Contact Centre will reopen Friday, Oct. 1 at 8:30 a.m. to assist residents and businesses who may have questions related to vaccinations, vaccine certificates and other general inquires.

York Region’s Provincial Offences Offices will be closed. Residents can pay tickets, check the status and booking court appointments online at

Waste Depots are not impacted by this closure and will remain open.

York Region’s community vaccination clinics located at Maple Community Centre and the York Region Administrative Centre will remain open to residents looking to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Clinic hours and locations can be found at