Here's what's happening around Waterloo Region for Truth and Reconciliation Day
A number of events are being organized around Waterloo Region to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Saturday Sept. 30.
The day, formally designated a federal holiday in 2021, honours survivors of Canada’s residential school system, as well as the children who never returned home.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation coincides with Orange Shirt Day, which was started by residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad in 2013 to raise awareness about the lasting harm the residential school system caused.
In 1973, six-year-old Webstad attended her first day of school at St. Joseph’s Mission, where her favourite orange shirt, given to her by family, was taken away and never returned.
The date of Sept. 30 was chosen partially because September was the month children would be taken from their families and forced to attend the schools.
Every Child Matter Walk
- Downtown Kitchener
- Starts at 10 a.m.
Hosted by the Healing of the Seven Generations, organizers say the event aims to spread awareness and reflect on the tragedies experienced by Indigenous peoples as a result of the residential school system.
Last year an estimated 3,000 people attended.
The walk meets at the Healing of the Seven Generations office at 300 Frederick St. in Kitchener and will culminate with speakers and drumming at THEMUSEUM at 10 King St.
Cambridge Orange Shirt Day
- Riverside Park (Dolph Pavilion)
- 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Organizers say the event will include music by local Indigenous artists, guest speakers, a sacred fire and a drum circle. Participants are invited to bring their own chair or blanket to sit on.
O:se Kenhionhata:tie – Land Back Camp Panel
- Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
- 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Join the founders of O:se Kenhionhata:tie (also known as Land Back Camp) for a panel discussion on their documentary Stories from Land Back Camp. Topics will include their experiences at the camp and key moments in the process of creating the film.
Self-Guided Reconciliation Walk
- Laurel Creek Conservation Area, Waterloo
- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This self-guided walk follows the chronological history of residential schools in Canada. No cars are allowed. Free busing will be provided from Parking Lot X on University of Waterloo campus, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and running every 30 minutes.
Virtual Tour of the former Mohawk Institute
- 11 a.m.
The virtual tour follows the guide, Lorrie Gallant through the former Brantford residential school. During the video, Gallant traces the institution’s more than 140 year history. Viewers will get to see the different rooms in the school, from the girls and boys dormitories, the cafeteria, laundry room, and other rooms throughout the building, as well as hear interviews from five survivors of the Mohawk Institute.
Cost is $10 and supports the Woodland Cultural Centre’s education department.
The Nature of Healing
- 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- Guelph Civic Museum
Guelph Museum and Guelph Film Festival present a public screening of JamLab’s documentary The Nature of Healing, which features the stories of seven Mohawk Institute survivors. A panel discussion will follow.
Walk to Honour National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
- Schmidt Woods, Wilmot
- 8:30 a.m.
Join the Township of Wilmot for a walk through the Schmidt Woods to learn more about our shared history and reflect on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. The walk meets at the Wilmot Recreation Complex (1294 Nafizer Road, Baden).
This list is ongoing and will be updated. If you have an event you'd like to add, email us.
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