The Vital Role of Recognizing National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in PR

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of acknowledging and addressing historical injustices, especially concerning Indigenous communities. One significant step towards reconciliation is the establishment of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (NDTRC) in Canada. In this blog post, we'll discuss why PR professionals should actively engage with this day and why it matters for our industry.

Understanding the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, observed on September 30th in Canada, is a day dedicated to honouring the survivors of residential schools and the victims of the tragic legacy they left behind. Residential schools were institutions where Indigenous children were forcibly separated from their families and subjected to cultural assimilation, abuse, and neglect. This dark chapter of Canadian history has profound implications for the nation's Indigenous peoples, and recognizing this day is a significant step towards healing and reconciliation.

PR Professionals as Agents of Change

Public relations professionals play a pivotal role in shaping public opinion, disseminating information, and influencing policy decisions. Given this, it's vital for PR practitioners to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation for several reasons:

1.Social Responsibility: As communication experts, PR professionals have a social responsibility to contribute to a more just and equitable society. By actively participating in this day, you demonstrate your commitment to the values of truth and reconciliation.

2.Cultural Competence: Understanding the historical context of Indigenous communities in Canada and acknowledging their struggles is crucial for cultural competence. This knowledge can help PR professionals better engage with Indigenous clients or audiences, fostering more meaningful and respectful relationships.

3.Reputation Management: Ignoring or mishandling sensitive issues related to reconciliation can have serious repercussions for organizations. By recognizing this day and engaging in respectful and empathetic communication, PR professionals can help protect their clients' or organizations' reputations.

4.Advocacy and Education: PR professionals can use their platforms to advocate for Indigenous rights, amplify Indigenous voices, and educate the public about the significance of reconciliation. This advocacy not only benefits society but also enhances the credibility of PR practitioners.

5.Building Trust: Trust is the cornerstone of effective PR. Acknowledging the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a step towards building trust with Indigenous communities and demonstrating a commitment to ethical communication practices.

Incorporating the recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation into your PR strategy is not just a moral obligation; it's a strategic move that aligns with the evolving values of society. By embracing this day, PR professionals can contribute to a more inclusive, equitable, and compassionate Canada, all while enhancing their own professional expertise and impact.

As we move forward, let us remember that acknowledging the past is the first step towards a brighter future, and PR professionals have a unique role to play in shaping that future.

Mental health resources:

Residential School Survivor Society: (

The Kuu-Us Crisis Line is also another resource: 

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: 

UBC Residential School History and Dialogue Centre – About Orange Shirt Day: 

Orange Shirt Society: 

Author: Alexandra Skinner, Past President