CRD Statement for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Sep 23, 2021

Victoria, BC– The federal government has declared September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The Capital Regional District (CRD) acknowledges the harm that was done to Indigenous peoples by Canada’s residential schools and the ongoing impacts and intergenerational trauma that are felt by Indigenous communities to this day.

From September 27th to October 4th, the CRD will be flying an orange flag for truth and reconciliation, and in honour of all residential school survivors. The flag has been loaned to the CRD by Eddy Charlie, a survivor of the Kuper Island Indian Industrial School. Eddy Charlie and Kristin Spray work together as Co-organizers of Victoria Orange Shirt Day and Xe Xe Smun'Eem. The design is by Tsawout artist Bear Horne, and features a bear to help us follow the right path, an eagle to help us have a vision of a bright future, a hummingbird to keep our mind, body and spirit healthy, and a flower to feed the connection of all these elements.

“We are humbled to have received permission to fly the orange flag in remembrance of the thousands of Indigenous children who died at residential schools and to honour all survivors, their families and communities," said CRD Board Chair Colin Plant. "We hope it will encourage further reflection and dialogue on the truth of residential schools and the need for Reconciliation.”

Removing children from their families and forcing them to attend residential schools was Canadian government policy, in what has been recognized by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as attempted cultural genocide.

From the late 1800’s to 1996, more than 150,000 Indigenous children attended these schools. Many never returned home. Since the 215 unmarked graves were found in Kamloops, over 6000 graves have been identified at residential schools across the country, with more anticipated.

CRD offices will also be closed on September 30th to allow staff to observe this important day of reflection and commemoration. The CRD is committed to listening, learning, and taking steps towards better relationships with the First Nations on whose traditional territories we do our work. 

More information on truth and reconciliation and ways to honour survivors can be found here

Proud to be recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers and Canada’s Greenest Employers, the CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at


For media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications
Tel: 250.360.3229
Cell: 250.216.5492

Photo caption:  CRD Board Chair Plant and Director Tait and First Nations Relations Staff meet with Eddy Charlie and Kristin Spray to receive and display the Orange Flag. (Pictured left to right Elizabeth Hermsen, Eddy Charlie, Kristin Spray, Colin Plant, Maja Tait and Caitlyn Vernon).

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