“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 80 not only called for the establishment of a statutory holiday, but it is also an invitation to Indigenous Peoples and all Canadians to continue to reflect on the legacy and true history of residential schools. This day is set aside to honour all the children who survived residential schools as well as those that did not return. We invite everyone across the country to mark September 30 — Orange Shirt Day — by wearing orange and ‘lighting up’ our communities orange.” —Stephanie Scott, Executive Director, NCTR.”
Visit The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation website
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30, 2022
The Falstaff Family Centre is hosting an outdoor event and inviting the community to learn more about Indigenous culture and traditions on Friday Sept. 30th, The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The afternoon event will include three identical hour-long presentations at 1:30, 2:30 and 4:00 p.m., all of which also feature a ‘meet and greet’ with live Ojibwe ‘Spirit Horses’. The program will also include land acknowledgements by Loreena McKennitt and Jo-Dee Burbach and a sacred fire, a traditional way to begin a ceremony or event and unite participants.
Christin Dennis, who also goes by the name ‘Fast Moving Cloud’ in Ojibwe, is lead knowledge keeper with the Avon Maitland District School Board and will explain the significance of the Medicine Wheel Garden. He’ll also perform the smudging, a burning of such traditional medicines as sweetgrass, sage or cedar in a ceremony for purifying or cleansing the soul of negative thoughts of a person or place.
The Ojibway Spirit Horses, which will be accompanied by stable owners Dale and Sallianne Patch, are small horses and the only breed developed by Indigenous people in Canada. Once abundant, they ran wild in the boreal forests around the Great Lakes region and are considered a spirit animal by the Indigenous people of Ontario. Their origins are thought to pre-date the Ice Age.
The day’s events will conclude with a Solidarity Walk around the Avon River, departing from The Falstaff Family Centre at 5:00 p.m.
“We are again so pleased to be hosting this event,” says Loreena McKennitt, director of the Falstaff Family Centre and founder of Wise Communities Stratford. “We are most fortunate that these people have agreed to come and share their knowledge of Indigenous culture and history.”
There will also be a pop-up shop with Mr. Dennis’ art and orange t-shirts handmade and blessed by area-artist Winona Sands.
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