The Ottawa Senators will recognize Canada's National Day for Truth and Reconciliation when the team kicks off the home portion of its preseason schedule.
Prior to the warm-up for Wednesday night's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, a traditional land acknowledgment will take place while a summation of the day’s importance will detail the tragic story of residential schools and their place in Canadian history.
Members of both the Senators and the Leafs will wear orange 'Every Child Matters' t-shirts as part of pre-game off-ice preparations and locker rooms will include orange nameplates for players on both teams. Many of the game’s players are expected to use orange tape on their sticks. An 'Every Child Matters' helmet decal will also be worn by players on both teams. Both Ottawa and Toronto bench coaches will wear orange ties.
Ahead of the opening faceoff, an honour song will be performed by members of the Eagle River Singers, a nine-member group from Kitigan Zibi, Quebec, while the Canadian national anthem will be sung by Indigenous singer Mary Nahwegahbow in three languages, English, French and Anishinaabemowin.
In conjunction with First Assist, a local Indigenous charitable organization, the Senators will welcome 50 elders and youth from Indigenous communities to the game.
In addition to encouraging all those coming to Wednesday's game to wear orange, fans of both teams can support programs and initiatives to enhance the lives of youth in Indigenous communities by purchasing 50/50 tickets, both online and at Canadian Tire Centre as proceeds from all three pre-season contests’ 50/50 totals will be directed to Indigenous charities.
This past June, the Government of Canada passed legislation to render the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation a federal statutory holiday, on September 30.