Indigenous Engagement

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Why is September 30 important?

Every year on September 30, we give pause and honour the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation (also known as Orange Shirt Day). It is a day dedicated to raising awareness about the past and ongoing traumatic impacts of the residential school system on Indigenous communities. Watch Dr. Penny Sutcliffe share her reflections on the significance of this day.

The federal government passed legislation this year designating September 30 as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools in Canada. The day was originally founded as Orange Shirt Day, inspired by Phyllis Webstad who, at the age of 6, had the new orange shirt given by her grandmother taken from her on her first day at residential school.

Aanii! Wachay! Bonjour! Greetings and welcome!

Public Health Sudbury & Districts is committed to building meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities in its service area. As part of this commitment and under the direction of the Board of Health, Public Health Sudbury & Districts has embarked on a journey to develop an Indigenous Engagement Strategy. This work has been conducted in consultation with many Indigenous community partners. The Board of Health’s commitment to this strategy is expressed in Motion #54-16.

The strategy has been informed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action in health as well as the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Relationship with Indigenous Communities Guideline, 2018.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts is striving to find its path together with area Indigenous Peoples.

Indigenous Engagement Governance ReconciliAction Framework

The Indigenous Engagement Governance ReconciliAction Framework, endorsed by the Board of Health Motion #37-23 for Public Health Sudbury & Districts, guides the Board of Health to further Public Health’s Indigenous Engagement Strategy. The actions outlined in the Framework are aligned with the Strategy’s four strategic directions and direct the Board of Health to:

  1. Inform its work through Indigenous community voices and information.
  2. Engage in meaningful relationships to support Indigenous community well-being.
  3. Strengthen its capacity to become culturally safe.
  4. Advocate and partner to improve Indigenous health.

About Indigenous communities within the Public Health Sudbury & Districts service area

Reference: 3 Statistics Canada, 2016 Census

Reference: 4 Registered Indian Population by Sex and Residence 2016, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; and 2016 Census, Statistics Canada, 25% Sample

13 First Nations within Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ service area

Each First Nation community is unique, with different demographics, needs, resources, assets, and challenges.

A map or the First Nations in the Sudbury & Districts area.

Métis groups within Public Health Sudbury & Districts service area

The Métis Nation of Ontario has an office in Sudbury serving Métis citizens in and around Greater Sudbury as well as Chapleau with whom we work.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts collaborative partnerships with Indigenous Peoples

Public Health Sudbury & Districts has many longstanding and diverse partnerships with First Nations and Indigenous health services organizations. We are engaged in information sharing, planning, education, service provision, and research.

Partnerships with Indigenous groups and communities are diverse and broad in scope. Examples include collaborating on the development of an Indigenous diabetes prevention strategy, co-creation of culturally appropriate This is my tobacco resource, the provision of dental screening, and the Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program in First Nations schools. More recently, work has begun in the areas in harm reduction, needle exchange programs and naloxone distribution in First Nations as well as mental health promotion. Promotion of good health and prevention of injury, disease, and illness brings us together as partners.

To learn more about Indigenous Engagement at Public Health Sudbury & Districts, please call 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200) or email

This item was last modified on January 9, 2024