Special Truth and Reconciliation Day events planned across Midwestern Ontario

Anishinaabe Elder Mona Stonefish speaks at a healing walk to mark the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, September 30, 2021. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

A special ceremony for National Truth and Reconciliation Day will be held in Brockton this Friday, September 30.

Organizer Gregory McLean, says everyone will gather at the Memory Lane Park in Walkerton at Durham Street & McNab Street at 6:30 p.m., followed by an illuminated vigil walk across the street to the library steps.

“We will be welcomed by the committee members, and then we will have two members of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, also known as Neyaashiinigmiing, there and they will be addressing the gathering. Following that, there will an opportunity for silent reflection, and the children in attendance will lay flowers in memory of those lost in the residential school system,” McLean explained.

After the flowers are laid, a special song will be played.

“We get to listen to a song that was created by students at St. Joseph’s School in Port Elgin, they have a larger Indigenous population at the school, and they had a project where they created a song and a video called ‘Tie Our Spirits’,” said McLean.

McLean says it is important to respond to the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, and this is one small way that people can do that.

“It’s a way of providing space and a way of listening, and certainly I think people in our community would like to know what can they do, in terms of their contribution to reconciliation, and so this is just one small step on that road. We’re really happy that Chippewas of Nawash First Nation continue to send representation because, it is listening to Indigenous people’s stories that will help us on the right track in terms of making things right,” McLean added.

You can search Truth and Reconciliation Brockton for more information on the event. Many other counties and communities are hosting special Truth and Reconciliation Day events. That includes Huron County, who shared their plans in a release:

“The Cultural Services department will be hosting National Day for Truth & Reconciliation Film Screenings at the Huron County Museum. The public are invited to register to attend this free event. The Huron County Library will be giving away buttons, in support of the Orange Shirt Society, at all branch locations. The Library also has multiple reading lists available in the Library catalogue and residents will be able to learn more about Truth and Reconciliation Day and find additional learning opportunities on the Library and Museum’s blogs,” the release stated.

The Municipality of Kincardine has also released their plans in the following release:

“The Municipality of Kincardine encourages everyone to find a way to take part by wearing orange on September 30th. During the week of September 26th to September 30th, the Municipality will be supplying posters, resources, and materials for the public to pick up at the following municipal facilities:
-Davidson Centre
-Underwood Community Centre
-Municipal Administration Centre
-Tiverton Sports Centre

The Municipality of Kincardine is flying either the “Every Child Matters” Flag and the “Survivors’ Flag” at half-mast from September 30th to October 2nd on municipal community flagpoles. As part of the Journey to Reconciliation Ongoing Speaker Series, the Municipality will be hosting a session with speaker Deborah Johnson from the Orange Shirt Day Society. She will be speaking on Wednesday, October 12, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. via ZOOM. Deborah is a Northern Shuswap tribal member and is from the Alkali Lake First Nations and Canoe Creek First Nations. To register for this visit: https://www.kincardine.ca/ROSS-Oct-12-2022/ or e-mail lfioze@kincardine.ca,” the release said.

**Story corrected after it initially stated the Walkerton event was for 6:30 a.m., which was incorrect, the event is for 6:30 p.m.**