SFU's National Day for Truth and Reconciliation graphic is a subtle expression of Etuaptmumk (Two-Eyed Seeing), a guiding principle developed by Mi’kmaq Elder Albert Marshall that recognizes better outcomes are more likely if we bring two or more perspectives into collaboration. The design was developed between SFU designers and the Office for Aboriginal Peoples. The image suggests Western perspective (SFU’s AQ) in partnership with the Indigenous perspective (Longhouse facade) to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

Commemorating the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 21, 2021

September 30th this year marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day. It is a time for reflection and a time to come together in the spirit of reconciliation, and to honour those who have been impacted by Canada’s residential school system.

We encourage SFU students, faculty and staff to wear an orange shirt during the week of September 27, to take time to participate in the many initiatives happening across the university and stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities across Canada.

Here are some ways for you to get involved.

Attend an event:

Burnaby Campus - Opening Ceremony for Truth and Reconciliation Week
September 27 | Convocation Mall |12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

A formal in-person ceremony at Burnaby campus featuring traditional drumming and singing, with opening and closing prayers from Elders and additional remarks from SFU senior leadership and faculty, will begin the week of activities across SFU’s three campuses. The event will feature Elder Syexwaliiya (Ann Whonnock), Elder Margaret George, Ron Johnston, Dr. Catherine Dauvergne and Dr. Rudy Reimer (Yumks). Watch a playback of the live-stream of the formal ceremony.

ISC x FNSA Activity Booth
September 27 | Convocation Mall, Burnaby Campus | 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Drop by the Indigenous Student Centre and First Nations Student Association's booth to visit with students, ISC staff and Elders, and for Orange Shirt Day activities including an orange shirt art table, fire pits for bannock s'mores, drumming and more information about Orange Shirt Day.

Vancouver Campus – formal event
September 28| Harbour Centre Room 1400 |11 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

This in-person ceremony will include Elder Margaret George (Skawahlook First Nation), Elder Syexwaliya (Skwxwu7mesh Uxwumixw), and SFU President Joy Johnson. The event will also feature additional speakers including Laurie Anderson, Ron Johnston, Jessica LaRochelle, Gary George and Elder Seislom. In alignment with current public health orders, the in-person ceremony will be limited to 50 people, but the event will also be live-streamed.

Surrey Campus – Skookum Surrey – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30| Holland Park |2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

To mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, you are invited to join SFU Surrey, in partnership with the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee (SUILC) and the City of Surrey, for an afternoon of stories, poetry, coffee and tea, bannock and drumming. This event will be rain or shine, and we encourage you to wear your orange shirt and bring your drums. View poster.

Indigenous Research and Indigenous Methodologies
October 1 | Online | 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

Indigenous research scholar Dr. Margaret Kovach, discusses "Indigenous Research and Indigenous Methodologies: Convergences and Divergences". This invited colloquium is hosted by the Department of Psychology's Indigenous Reconciliation Committee and the department area of History, Quantitative, and Theoretical Psychology. 

Looking ahead: Additional upcoming events

External events

Hear Indigenous stories:

Show your support:

Orange shirts

Orange shirts are available at SFU:

Zoom backgrounds

Download a Zoom background:

Get connected:

Access resources:

Learning resources

Mental health supports

The findings of the unmarked graves at former residential school sites and hidden and difficult truths have been revealed this past year. Supports are available for those who are navigating trauma.


Faculty and staff:


  • The Indian Residential School Survivors Society is available at 1-800-721-0066, along with a 24-hour crisis line at 1-866-925-4419 for those who need immediate support.
  • The KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides an Indigenous-specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's toll-free and can be reached at 1-800-588-8717.
  • The First Nations Health Authority offers support specifically for survivors and families who have been directly impacted by the Indian residential school system.

To add an event, initiative, resource to this page please connect with alyssa_quan@sfu.ca