Photos: Calgary remembers residential school victims on Orange Shirt Day

Calgary's recognizes the first-ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in ceremonies held Thursday

The Calgary Fire displayed the unfinished list of Residential School victims in an aerial salute during Orange Shirt Day at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021.

The City of Calgary recognized Orange Shirt Day and the first national Truth and Reconciliation Day at Fort Calgary on Thursday.

The Government of Canada legislated in June that Sept. 30 would be recognized as Truth and Reconciliation Day. This was call 80 out of the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Across Canada from 1883 to 1998 a total of 140 Residential Schools were run by the federal government. Numerous residential schools were also run by religious groups across the nation.

The last residential school to close in Alberta was St. Mary’s (Blood) The Immaculate Conception Boarding School in 1988.

Some of the names of Residential School victims flow during an aerial salute by the Calgary Fire Department on an unfinished list of names during Orange Shirt Day at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021. Orange Shirt Day was established in 2013 after Phyllis Webstad shared her story of having her orange shirt taken on her first day at St. Joseph Mission Residental School.
Elder Clarence Wolfleg, left, and Harold Horsefall, issues strategist for the City of Calgary’s Indigenous Relations Department, performed a smudge lighting on the Orange Shirt Day at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021. Smudging ceremonies involve the burning of traditional medicines and are typically performed by Elders.
Calgary Board of Education dancers perform fancy shawl dances and fancy dances during the City of Calgary’s Orange Shirt Day program at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021.
Calgary Board of Education dancers perform fancy shawl during the City of Calgary’s Orange Shirt Day program at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021.
Calgary Board of Education dancers performed in front of the unfinished list of residential school victims during Orange Shirt Day at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021.
Women of Song, consisting of Pearl White Quills, (left), Debbie Green, and Wendy Walker, performed several songs during the City of Calgary’s Orange Shirt Day program at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021. The group performed songs in remembrance of the children who didn’t make it home after being forced into attending residential schools.
Wendy Walker used a guitar specifically chosen because of the stickers placed on it by children during her musical performances with the Women of Songs during the City of Calgary’s Orange Shirt Day program at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021.
A young attendee of the Orange Shirt Day program at Fort Calgary played in the tall grass during the Women of Songs performance on Thursday, September 30, 2021.
Phil Fontaine, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, spoke at the City of Calgary’s Orange Shirt Day program at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021. The AFN during Fontaine’s time as leader negotiated the Kelowna Accord and the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement which founded the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi, left, and Elder Clarence Wolfleg close out the City of Calgary’s Orange Shirt Day program before the round dance at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021. Wolfleg closed out the formal ceremonies by mentioning the Blackfoot name given Mayor Nenshi’s meaning “clan leader.”
Mayor Naheed Nenshi spoke with members of Calgary’s Police Service during Orange Shirt Day at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021. Staff representing City of Calgary departments, Calgary Police Service, and Calgary Fire Department were in attendance.
Members of Calgary’s Police Service danced during in-place round dance at Orange Shirt Day at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021. Attendees were asked to join in the round dance in a nontraditional fashion by dancing in place to be socially-distanced because of Covid-19.
Members of the public performed their own round dance outside of the zone set up for dignitaries and the media at the City of Calgary’s Orange Shirt Day at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021.
A pair of youth held up signs for missing and murdered Indigenous women and residential school victims during Orange Shirt Day at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women report contained testimony from 2,830 people and made 231 calls for justice to government, non-profit, and private institutions.
A protestor held up a sign stating “we are still here” after the conclusion of the official City of Calgary Orange Shirt Day program at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021.
Arista Rychard, left, and Robert Lambert wore orange handprints over their mouths for Orange Shirt Day at Fort Calgary on Thursday, September 30, 2021. The hand print has become a recognized symbol of recognition for the victims and survivors of the Residential School system.

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