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Sault Ste. Marie recognizes National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Here's a running list of what's happening locally Sept. 30
2021 07 01 Every Child Matters Recognition Walk VA 5
People wearing orange shirts walk Highway 17B during the Every Child Matters Recognition Walk in Garden River First Nation, July 1, 2021.

Sault Ste. Marie will be the site of a number of virtual and in-person events in recognition of National Truth and Reconciliation Day Sept. 30. 

The federal statutory holiday coincides with Orange Shirt Day, a grassroots day and movement intended to honour both residential school survivors and those who didn’t survive the residential school system.

Orange Shirt Day originated with a story from Phyllis Webstad, a Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation who was stripped of her prized orange shirt on her first day attending residential school in Mission, B.C. in 1973.  

Here’s a running list of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation events happening locally Sept. 30:

Flag raising ceremony at city hall

The City of Sault Ste. Marie hosts a flag raising ceremony outside the Civic Centre at 12:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

Steelworkers partner with Indigenous elders, leaders for Whitefish Island event

United Steelworkers Local 9548 is partnering with traditional elders for what’s being described as a day of spiritual reflection for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people Sept. 30 at Whitefish Island from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Sacred fire keeper Clifford Waboose and traditional knowledge keeper Don Waboose will be providing spiritual guidance and traditional teachings throughout the day. Special guest speakers include Batchewana First Nation Chief Dean Sayers and Garden River First Nation Chief Andy Rickard. 

Those attending are encouraged to wear an orange shirt for the event. 

Shingwauk site partners host Orange Shirt Day event

Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC), Anishinaabe Academic Resource Centre and the Shingwauk Anishinaabe Students’ Association are partnering to host an Orange Shirt Day event. Algoma University has also cancelled all classes in Sault Ste. Marie, Brampton and Timmins Sept. 30. 

The day will see a mix of virtual and in-person events, including: 

8 a.m. - Lighting of the sacred fire at the arbour, located outside the university east of Doc Brown Lounge

9-10 a.m. - In-person tours of Shingwauk Residential School site. Meet at front steps of Shingwauk Hall 

10-10:30 a.m. - Intergenerational Survivor Jay Jones presents Mind, Body & Spirit: Exercising Our Gifts to Help Others and Ourselves ***

10 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Community art installation, Honouring Residential School Survivors and Those Who Didn’t Come Home, at Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (Anishinabek Discovery Centre, 1491 Queen Street East)

11 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Virtual tour of the Shingwauk Residential School site ***

12 p.m. - 2 p.m. - Maamawi-niibibijigaadeg: Woven Together, with Thinking Rock Community Arts Tent. Located near the arbour on the Shingwauk site

1 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. - Paige Simon and Lue Mahaffey of Canoe for Every Child ***

1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. - Dr. Paulette Steeves, Telling our Truths: Remembering the Children ***

2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Residential school survivor and Elder Shirley Horn ***

3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Walk to water at Bellevue Park. All COVID protocols are strictly enforced. 

Events marked with *** will be available via Zoom and streamed live on the Algoma University YouTube channel 

Weecheetowin Health Support Services will be available onsite all day, according to a release from Algoma University.  

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