Sept.30 is Truth and Reconciliation Day

How will you mark Canada’s first statutory National Truth and Reconciliation Day on Sept.30? Valley residents have many options; here are just a few:

County of Renfrew distributed a media release on Sept.28 saying that the County “wishes to acknowledge and recognize the truths of our country’s past and fully supports the path to reconciliation” and encouraging residents to learn more about the rich heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples both locally and across Canada.

You could start by visiting the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission website where you can learn about the work of the Commission, and read the final report and recommendations. Click HERE to visit the website.

The County of Renfrew has also launched an Indigenous Relations webpage that contains information and resources. Indigenous Relations – County of Renfrew

The Council of Canadians Kitchissippi-Ottawa Valley is holding a virtual Teach-In. Saying that all good action starts with learning, they invite volunteers to join in by reading aloud the 94 Calls to Action (recommendations) from the 2015 report of the Indigenous-led Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Here is the Zoom link to pre-register for the Teach-In which begins at 5:30 p.m. Sept.30: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUocOqqqj8iEt08xyYFlbMAe9bHEhFeo5nD More details on the group’s Facebook page. You may also phone in.

Madawaska Valley Public Library stands in solidarity with all Indigenous families impacted by the abuses and atrocities committed inside the residential school system, and will be closed on Sept.30 in order to signal respect to those families. The Library has encouraged children to read books about indigenous peoples and complete an activity sheet before Truth and Reconciliation Day. These are on display in the Library for you to observe when it reopens on Friday. Next month, on Oct.21 at 10:30 a.m. the Library will host another visit from BIAK EarlyOn who will present a program Indigenous Drumming and Teaching. To pre-register for this free program, please email mvplprograms@gmail.com

The Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation will honour their children and youth, past, present, and future through a community video and feast. The Every Child Matters (ECM) Task Force has identified ways for community members to acknowledge this important day. Although the historic significance of this day is very sad for many people, the ECM Task Force believes this is a day to celebrate, saying “We are all here today because our ancestors and families have survived the Residential School era. We are celebrating our resiliency, and our Anishinabe language, culture, and traditions. We are proud to be Anishinabeg!” Members of the AOPFN community will wear orange, participate in a virtual video/photo share, and enjoy a drive-through feast.

Tim Hortons is launching a fundraising donut on Orange Shirt Day across Canada to support residential school survivors. Indigenous Tim Hortons restaurant owners collaborated in a working group that guided the launch of this campaign. From Sept 30-Oct 6, 100 percent of the proceeds from the sales of this special donut will go towards the Orange Shirt Society and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. Barry’s Bay Tim Hortons restaurant is participating in the campaign. http://news.timhortons.ca/orange-donut/

Featured image: 215 and counting orange shirt bear, Pikwakanagan. Photo Sharon Gardiner

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