Thursday will be Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The statutory holiday calls on the country to reflect on Canada’s bleak history of mistreatment of Indigenous peoples and the enduring intergenerational trauma of residential schools.
Bill to create a statutory holiday as a response to one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action Received Royal Assent on 3 June. Federally regulated workplaces such as public sector businesses, banks and post offices will remain closed during this holiday.
The 24 hours coincide with Orange Shirt Day, described by the federal government “An Indigenous-led grassroots memorial day” that encourages the wearing of orange shirts in honor of Indian residential school survivors and the thousands of Indigenous children who never came home.
Many provinces across the country are celebrating this day. Here’s how you can participate.
Although the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will not be recognized as a statutory holiday in Ontario, many major cities are choosing to participate.
Trent University in Peterborough, Ont., will install a new Treaty Rock outside the Bata Library at 10:30 a.m. The school’s first People’s House of Learning will host a sacred fire at 12:30 pm behind the Mwayang building with guest speakers, lunch and an open mic.
In Ottawa, Canada’s National Cemetery Will Host two hour tour Designed to showcase the “educational and contemporary truth” of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people’s relationship with Canada at 8 a.m. ET.
NS remember me walk It will begin at 10 a.m. ET on Parliament Hill to celebrate the lives of Indigenous children who suffered in residential schools, and whose bodies have been found in thousands of unmarked graves across the country this past year.
and in Toronto, A Unity Jam concert will be held at Dufferin Grove Park 3 p.m. ET featuring indigenous performances and Juno-award winning musicians.
In Saskatchewan, the Saskatoon Tribal Council is presenting a concert at the Saskatel Center that includes cultural performances and musical performances by Gord Bamford, Charlie Major and George Canyon, to honor National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The University of Saskatchewan campus and buildings will also be lit orange this week, while projections of the TRC call to action will be shown on the school’s Peter McKinnon building and the main university library.
A gathering and march organized by Montreal’s Native Women’s Shelter and the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is being held at 1 p.m. in Montreal’s Place du Canada, commemorating the thousands of children who died as part of the Every Children’s Affairs movement residential schools for
“Speakers, a ceremony, and drums will be preceded by a march to the Place-des-Arts, where speeches and artist performances will be held,” A release for the event said.
One evening of prayer Led by the Diocese of Montreal will begin at 1085 rue de la Cathédrale at 7:30 pm local time. Members of the Kahnawake and Mohawk communities are expected to participate in the submission of artwork and the installation of a statue of St. Kateri Tekquitha created by Archbishop Christian Lepin.
All schools and federally regulated workplaces will be closed in Manitoba to mark the statutory holiday, and Indigenous-led programs are running throughout the month.
Meanwhile, provincial officials in Alberta are encouraging all residents to “reflect the legacy of residential schools,” but say they are leaving the implementation of a statutory holiday to individual employers.
British Columbians are encouraged to participate Xe Xe Smun ‘eem-Victoria Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters Ceremony In Centennial Square, Victoria.
The annual event, which will take place in the afternoon, is hosted by residential school survivor Eddie Charlie and is expected to include live music, food, “a First Nations blessing and welcome, followed by a flag hoisting and a moment of silence”.
One Intergenerational march will also be taken out 11:45 p.m. Outside the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Center at the University of British Columbia
While the province of New Brunswick has said it will not celebrate Truth and Reconciliation Day, several major cities have opted for it.
The Town of Sussex, Moncton, Miramichi and all have said they will participate, and lower their flags at half-mast.
“The painful legacy of residential schools has been felt across our country,” Mayor Don Arnold said in a statement earlier this month. “I encourage our staff and residents to reflect, listen and learn from Indigenous leaders, veterans and artists on September 30th, and to honor those affected by the tragic history of our Indigenous communities.”
Most city offices and facilities in Newfoundland and Labrador will be closed for a statutory holiday, provincial officials said on Friday.
In Nova Scotia, officials said An inaugural prayer and song ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. A flag-hoisting ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the grand parade, along with indigenous performances and words from a residential school survivor, he said. State will also cooperate Reconciliation Weekend at Waterfront Events, Hosted by Mikamo Native Friendship Center.
In a statement issued earlier this monthPrince Edward Island Premier Dennis King invited Mi’kmaq leaders, Indigenous community members and the public to participate in a two-minute reflection, which will take place at the Provincial Administration Building on the national holiday, “followed by lowering the flag to honor Lives of indigenous people affected by residential schools.
“After that evening, government offices in Charlottetown will be lit orange to identify …