There were 140 federally run Indian Residential Schools which operated in Canada between 1831 and 1998. The last school closed only 23 years ago.
An estimated 150,00 children were forced to attend residential schools, and thousands of those children died at the schools or trying to flee to their homes.
80. We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process. [Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action, 2015, pg 9]
One request that has been repeated online is that we all take time today to learn more about the history of our indigenous people, especially as it relates to the harm and trauma caused by residential schools. One first step is to read the 94 calls to action made by the Committee on Truth and Reconciliation in their 2015 report on the impact of the residential school system.
You can access the calls to action here