This Saturday marks Truth and Reconciliation day – with events happening across Canada and here at home in Saskatchewan.
Orange Shirt Day is something Canadians are being encouraged to observe – putting on Orange in the spirit of remembering and acknowledging the atrocities and abuses indigenous children encountered while in Canada’s Residential School System.
The Orange shirt movement in recent years has become even more important as Indigenous bands across Canada are increasingly leading the search for truth.
Aided by technology many bands have uncovered what appear to be mass graves – many with anomalies the size of children – forcing many to ask what happened to a nation’s children while in the grips of the church.
Here in Saskatchewan there are a number of events happening around the province.
In Regina Reconciliation Regina has organized an Orange Shirt Day Walk and community BBQ at the Mâmawêyatitân Centre at 10:00 a.m.
The Circle Project will host an event in downtown Regina at Victoria Park, featuring an guest speakers and an honor walk. The event takes place from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm with people being encouraged to share their messages of hope and reconciliation back at the park after the walk.
In Moose Jaw – the Wakamow Aboriginal Community Association is holding the Every Child Matters Pow Wow and Gathering through to October 1st.
In Saskatoon a free screening of Bones of Crows will be shown at the SaskTel Theatre at the Remai Modern on Sept. 30th at 1:00 p.m.
The Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation will be taking take place starting at the Central Urban Metis Federation Inc. In reconciliation park a short program will then take place with family friendly activities.
At the Wanuskewin Heritage Park National Truth and Reconciliation Day activities start at 10:00 a.m. and will run until 4:00 p.m. Traditional teachings, demonstrations, guided walks, art activities and musical performances will all be featured.
In Prince Albert events that will start with an Every Child Matters walk at 10:00 a.m. from the River Street MMIWG Monument to Prince Albert Grand Council.
To end the day, there will be a reconciliation round dance at the Prince Albert Friendship Centre starting at 4:00 p.m. until midnight.
These events are significant steps towards fostering understanding and unity within the community.
These events and a day in which the stories of residential school survivors are front and center may be triggering for survivors and their families – if you or someone you love needs to talk to someone in the coming days
The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line provides 24-hour crisis support to former Indian Residential School students and their families toll-free at 1-866-925-4419.