The prime minister attended the Beyond the Orange Shirt Story event in Ontario on September 30, 2022, to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and he gave a speech to those who gathered.
"This is a day for Indigenous peoples," Trudeau said. "It's a day to recognize that, yes, you are still here, you are still strong and you are an indissociable part of the present and the future we build every day as a country."
He also noted that this national day is a time to remember, grieve, "take another step" in the healing process and recognize that Indigenous peoples "should not have to carry this burden alone."
"How many times do Indigenous peoples need to tell their stories of trauma, of loss, of pain, of grief, until we absorb those stories as non-Indigenous people and make them our own? Because they too are the story of Canada and therefore they too are the story of each of us."
Trudeau said the country is on the path of reconciliation that will take years but that everyone should rededicate themselves to the journey every day.
"This day fulfills a longstanding need to come together as a country to recognize the ongoing legacy of these so-called schools, especially as more and more unmarked grave sites are uncovered," he continued.
The prime minister mentioned that National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a time to honour people who lost their lives and think about what can be done to support survivors.
"Reconciliation is the responsibility of every single Canadian and we know it will take time," Trudeau said. "Scars don't heal overnight and trust can take a long time to rebuild but we will be there together every step of the way."
In 2021, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was created by the federal government in response to a call to action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
It's a federal statutory holiday which means it's commemorated on a national level and is a day off for federal workers but it's up to each province and territory to recognize the day provincially and territorially.
The Indian Residential School Survivors Society Emergency Crisis Line is available across Canada 24/7. Those who may need support can call 1-866-925-4419.
This article's right-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.