September 30th marks National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, also known as Orange Shirt Day. The day is a national day of remembrance and reflection on the historic and current violence and oppression toward Indigenous Peoples. As a vocational school, we encourage our non-Indigenous students to participate in workshops, lectures, sharing circles, vigils, and more on September 30th.

The “every child matters” slogan dawned on orange shirts resonates deeply with us as doulas and care workers. As doulas we work intimately with families, infants, and children. The tragedies of the residential school systems and 60’s scoop, as well as the current oppression and violence toward Indigenous families in the forms of child apprehension, incarceration, birth alerts, and more are horrific and unacceptable, and impacts the families and communities we belong to and work with.

As doulas and allies, it is crucial to educate ourselves about the actions, policies, and systems that disproportionately impact Indigenous families, especially those that directly impact the work we do in terms of advocacy, intergenerational care, and reproductive justice. It is our duty to critically reflect on our identities, experiences, and our relationship to wider systems.

We understand that National Day for Truth and Reconciliation can bring up difficult emotions and be potentially triggering for our Indigenous students. We will be hosting a Indigenous-only peer support sweetgrass circle on October 1 from 1-3 EST on Zoom to debrief together. Contact to register. You can also check in 0n our progress here at Doula Canada by reviewing our NTRD Progress Report, which includes our goals between now and 2028.

Don’t know where to get started? Here are some ideas:

  • Follow Indigenous creators on Tiktok, Instagram, and other platforms
  • Take the University of Alberta’s free Indigenous Canada Course
  • Search up Kairos Blanket Exercises near you
  • Read up on the 94 Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
  • Register for Doula Canada’s Doulas for Reconcili-ACTION Orange Shirt Day workshop
  • “Who Am I: Locating Oneself in Settler-Colonialism, A Conversation on Oppression Privilege, and Allyship” on September 30th from 1-3 PM EST on Zoom. $30, with all proceeds going to Aunties on the Road
  • Apply for our Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan Committee to contribute to our TRAP Five Year Plan
  • Assist in knowledge mobilization. Tag @doulacanada with the hashtag #doulasforreconciliaction on social media to share what you learned on September 30th that you think would benefit your fellow allies.

We understand that not everyone will have the same time, resources, finances, etc. to participate in some of the activities for the day. If you’re reflecting internally, please consider the following prompts (designed for non-Indigenous students).

  • What preconceived biases have been instilled in me about Indigenous Peoples? Where did I learn them from?
  • Whose land do I reside on? What is the story of the land here? (If applicable) How have I benefited from white/settler privilege?
  • Does the word “settler” make me uncomfortable? Why or why not?

Wishing you all a meaningful and educational National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.


Kayt Ward, EDI Co-Lead, BSW

Showing 2 comments
  • Neomi Gruntman

    Thank you so much for this important information. I am new here and need lots of education on this, so it is very helpful to have your thoughtful suggestions. Just started the u-alberta online course today.

    • Keira Grant

      Thanks for this feedback Neomi! It’s fantastic that you’re continuing your learning with the UofA course. It’s excellent!

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