WATCH — What does reconciliation mean?

Published 2021-09-27 04:44

Think of it as learning from the past and trying to do better


Have you heard the word reconciliation before?

It comes up a lot around Orange Shirt Day, which is marked every year on Sept. 30 as a day to raise awareness about the horror faced by Indigenous people who were forced to attend Canadian residential schools.

In 2021, Canada announced that Sept. 30 would officially be called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and federal workers would be given the day off in order to acknowledge that history.

But back to the word reconciliation. What does it even mean?

Maybe you’ve tried to Google it. Here’s what comes up: To reconcile or restore friendly relations.

In this case, the goal of reconciliation is to heal the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.

What does that look like?

Click play to watch CBC Kids News contributor Isabel DeRoy Olson explain:

Looking for support?

A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. The 24-hour national crisis line is: 1-866-925-4419.

Kids can also call the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868.

Have more questions? We'll look into it for you. Email us at


About the Contributor

Isabel DeRoy-Olson
Isabel DeRoy-Olson
CBC Kids News Contributor
Isabel DeRoy-Olson is a Grade 12 student and lives in North Vancouver on Tsleil Waututh territory. She is a citizen of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation from the Yukon territory and Annishabe from Manitoba. Isabel is passionate about acting and dancing and loves to learn more about Indigenous identity, gender and social justice. She is excited about the opportunity to start these conversations and more with kids across Canada.