National Truth and Reconciliation Day 2022

September 30th, 2022 will be the second official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which is a federal holiday to honour residential school survivors and the children who did not return, as well as their families and communities. Like last year, Fresh Roots will be closed to recognize the day as a paid statutory holiday to allow for time recognize and reflect meaningfully with this important day.

In addition, we are very exited to announce, that this year we are undertaking a collaborative project to explore the question “How schoolyard farms (and specifically, the work that Fresh Roots undertakes) can contribute to Indigenous food sovereignty and land-based learning”. We are working with our school district and Indigenous Education department colleagues, Indigenous Knowledge holders, Farm to School BC and the BC Chapter of the Coalition for Healthy School Food to design and deliver experiential workshop components as well as gatherings bringing everyone together for listening and sharing. We are grateful that this project is made possible with funding from the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. If you would like to learn more about this project, you can email for more information.

As with last year, we have compiled and wanted to show a some ideas from our team and community members that you can check out to commemorate this day and take actionable steps toward reconciliation:

Orange Shirt Day/NDTR events:

  • Orange Shirt Day at Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House (2131 Renfrew Street, Vancouver)
    on September 29, 4 to 7 PM – FREE family-friendly event where you can grab some food inspired by Indigenous recipes and learn more about traditional foods and Indigenous food sovereignty. All funds raised at our crafts and jewelry tables will go to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. Counsellor will be onsite to offer emotional support and smudging and medicines will be available. Part of Vancouver Urban Food Forest Foundation‘s Neighbourhood Food Week.
  • Orange Shirt Day with Britannia Community Centre on September 30 at 9 AM assemble outside the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre (1719 Franklin Street) and walk to Grandview Park where there will be a ceremony and activities (lunch, drum circle, crafting and sharing) until 2 PM.
  • Orange Shirt Day at Templeton Pool Welcome Garden (700 Templeton Drive, Vancouver) on September 30, 2 to 5 PM –  Performance by Indigenous Women Rise Drum Group, Elder stories, Indigenous Plant Walk with Lori Snyder, snacks, tea, ice cream and more! Part of Vancouver Urban Food Forest Foundation‘s Neighbourhood Food Week.
  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at Westminister Pier Park (1 6th Street, New Westminster) on September 30, 3 to 6 PM – FREE family-friendly event that will start with a welcoming, listening to guest residential school survivors, a pipe ceremony: “Beginning the Journey Home”, children’s giveaway, and free snacks while quantities last; hosted by the Spirit of the Children Society.
  • Skookum Surrey’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at Holland Park (13428 Old Yale Road, Surrey) on September 30, 2 to 4 PM – join for an afternoon of drumming, sharing, tea and bannock.
  • Vancouver Career College Healing Walk (2121 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford) on September 30, 10:30 AM to 2 PM – Walk and BBQ to discuss the meaning of this National Holiday and make new connections within the community.
  • Fraser River Indigenous Society’s We Stand With You Through Truth and Reconciliation at Memorial Peace Park (11930 224 Street, Maple Ridge) on September 30, 10 AM to 2 PM
  • Every Child Matters Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at John Hendry Park in Trout Lake (3300 Victoria Dr, Vancouver) on September 30 from 1 to 3 PM – organized by the Nisga’a Ts’amiks Vancouver Society, including ceremony, stories, drumming, and songs. Please meet at the south side of John Hendry Park.




  • Premiere of Tsartlip First Nation artist Priscilla Omulo’s short film, ‘Weaving our Story Towards Reconciliation‘ ONLINE on September 30
  • Free screening of documentaries (Honour Senator Murray, The Story of the Coast Salish Knitters, Keepers of the Fire) at Port Moody Station Museum (2734 Murray Street, Port Moody) on September 30, 10 AM to 1:30 PM
  • Vancouver International Film Festival – Bones of Crows, directed by Marie Clements on October 4 at 9 PM at the Centre for Performing Arts (777 Homer Street, Vancouver)
  • Vancouver International Film Festival’s interactive exhibition Signals: see the short film ‘This Is Not a Ceremony’ by Colin van Loon, which immerses viewers in stories that explore the dark truths of colonialism in Canada from October 1 to 3 at Emily Carr University’s Centre for Digital Media and Departure Lounge (685 Great Northern Way, Vancouver)
  • We encourage everyone to watch/listen to this short interview with former senator and chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Murray Sinclair.
  • The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation also has a week of speakers from across turtle island, all accessible for free on their Youtube channel.
  • How to watch and listen to National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on CBC | CBC Arts
  • Savage, Lisa Jackson, Director
  • Indian Horse, Based on the award-winning novel by Richard Wagamese


  • Be the Change You Want to See – First Nations Artist and Facilitator, Christine Mackenzie, will be hosting a free, public community art workshop on September 30 at Place des Arts (1120 Brunette Avenue, Coquitlam) from 1 to 3 PM that will be added to their Community Engagement Project display
  • The Orange Shirt Project – handmade contributions can be sent to ‘Lorrie Miller, 2125 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4’



Wear orange! 

  • Read Phyllis Webstad’s story HERE



  • Donate directly to The Indian Residential School Survivors Society. The Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS) is a provincial organization with a twenty-year history of providing services to Indian Residential School Survivors. They strive to provide physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual growth, development, and healing through culturally-based values and guiding principles for Survivors, Families, and Communities.

Please let us know if you have any resources we should know about and we hope our list provides you with some ideas about how to engage with and make acknowledging this important holiday meaningful for you.


#SOYLyouth 2022 – Audrey

by Audrey Sum, SOYL Suwa’lkh Crew

A Foodie’s Insight: Community Eats at Suwa’lkh

From a Foodie’s perspective, being part of the SOYL program allowed me to discover different meals and introduce vegetables from the local schoolyard garden in many ways to our diet. 

What is Community Eats? Every Tuesday and Wednesday, crews at Suwa’lkh will switch every week to have the opportunity to cook lunch for the students with various delicious vegan and healthy meals ranging from curries to veggie burgers.

For sides, salad is always served at lunch time during Community Eats. The salad has mixed greens and sometimes kale or turnip tops included too. A side of roasted turnips is commonly served for lunch, they are turnips seasoned with salt and pepper that is roasted in the oven.

A choice of Hickory Dressing (also known as Fresh Root’s favourite dressing) or Balsamic vinaigrette can be paired with your salad. However, be careful of the dressing bottle, don’t squeeze it with too much force or the salad dressing will go flying across your plate.

Now for the most exciting part, I’ll be introducing my favourite meals eaten during Community Eats. In the first picture, it was a split pea soup with carrots, split peas, herbs, and broth boiled down together. To go along with the soup, the crew made some homemade crackers with a little bit of sea salt on top. For sides, there was salad greens with Balsamic vinaigrette and roasted potatoes.

The soup tasted sweet and delicious, as it complemented well with the soft carrots and split peas combination from the vegetables added to the soup to give it more flavour. Although the crackers were a bit hard and needed an amount of chewing, the taste was surprisingly good.

It was a lighter meal compared to other meals made at Community Eats, but it filled you up quickly and you wouldn’t have to get any seconds. The roasted potatoes were my favourite part of the meal, as the smaller bits of potato were soft inside and had a crispy texture on the outside that made you want more.

Saving the last for the best, this meal was a vegetable pizza with various vegetables that included spinach, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, and mushrooms. The pizza was simply amazing as it had many toppings and the cheese pull made everything better. I found out that the cheese was apparently vegan? It was my first time trying vegan cheese and I couldn’t differentiate between regular cheese and vegan cheese, I was shocked that it tasted exactly like it. The richness of the cheese and baked bread dough with vegetables was the definition of Umami. For sides, there was salad greens, roasted zucchini and turnips with salt and pepper. The taste of the zucchini was tender and sweet that completed the pizza lunch for today’s Community Eats.

If you’re in it to help out at the garden in exchange for eating and cooking delicious meals, SOYL is the right place for you during the sunny skies of July and August. This was an experience that made me understand how my food gets from the farm to my table through the process of harvesting and cleaning the vegetables that I eat.

Building stronger connections with my community and the crew, mentors, and facilitators that I’ve worked with over the past 6 weeks was an opportunity to share knowledge from staff and students and taught us the importance of having an open mind and taking care of the space around us.


Signing out,

Audrey Sum


#SOYLyouth 2022 – Kaylen

by Kaylen Chong, SOYL Suwa’lkh Mentor

This is my second year participating in the SOYL program and I have found it more fun than the first time. It was partly because last year we didn’t get the opportunity to cook or go on any field trips, but I thought the activities planned were entertaining.

I had an absolute blast playing games, learning about leadership & food systems through informative and interactive workshops, native vs. invasive plant species, and getting to know everyone in the group. My favourite part of SOYL is being able to acquire practical kitchen skills through cooking together with my team for Community Eats.

I also enjoy harvesting a variety of different kinds of vegetables (like pink cauliflower & kohlrabi) and selling produce on market days. I have certainly stepped out of my comfort zone to share my thoughts and ideas more often in discussions, interacting with customers at the market, and trying new things. I really like being there to teach and support my fellow crew members using my previous knowledge as well. I have become a more confident person overall.

I am so grateful that I got the chance to take part in such an inclusive and fun program as it was a memorable experience that I will remember for years to come.


#SOYLyouth 2022 – Saul

by Saul Todd, SOYL Vancouver Crew

One of the things I enjoyed most during my time with SOYL was weeding the gardens. Weeding may not sound very fun or exciting, but for me it was a really good way to relax and give my brain a break. I can’t think of a more rewarding feeling than pulling the last weed from a garden bed. We came across some really interesting critters in the dirt while weeding, like bright green grubs and iridescent beetles. Also, worms. Too many worms to count.


#SOYLyouth 2022 – Alex

by Alexandra Johansen, SOYL Vancouver Crew

This summer has honestly been the best summer ever and that is all thanks to the SOYL
program. It was so fun! I came in not knowing anyone at all, but I got to know many amazing people that I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. Our facilitators are also super awesome people who love plants just like everyone in the program. We all just have the best time together, even when it comes to weeding in the heat.

So far, we’ve been on three field trips – one to UBC farms, one to Superstore and Langara YMCA and the most recent which was to Food Stash Foundation. They were all a blast while being educational. I learnt a ton, especially about medicinal plants during the tour around the indigenous garden at UBC farms. During the program we also get to attend Fresh Roots’ market at the Italian Cultural Centre, which was again, very fun. I got to work the register, which was kind of stressful at first, but I ended up getting the hang of it. It was just fun to hang out with veggies.

Another super exciting part about this program is that twice a week, crews get to cook lunch for everyone. My favourite dish by far has been the stir fry – it was absolutely delish! We’ve also had curry, chili, lasagna, burgers, pizza… and always a salad to go with. I love a good salad. When I wrote this blog at about halfway through the program, I was already a much more self-confident and leadership-like person than before. I am truly grateful for this program’s existence and the experience it gives me. Thank you, Fresh Roots!