How Edmonton will be observing the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Sep 27 2021, 8:29 pm

Canada’s first-ever National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is set to take place this week on Thursday, September 30, coinciding with Orange Shirt Day.

While Alberta is not recognizing September 30 as a statutory holiday in the province, there are still events throughout the day in Edmonton and across the country to honour and support First Nations, Metis, and Inuit.

Additionally, the City of Edmonton will consider September 30 a statutory holiday for all City employees, and encourages them to learn more about the intergenerational trauma caused to Indigenous Peoples.

“The City of Edmonton recognizes the incredible importance of this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Our commitment to the Indigenous community we share these lands with is to continue to work with, understand, and grow as we recognize past wrongs and build bridges to the future,” said Edmonton City Manager Andre Corbould in a news release.

The High-Level Bridge will be lit in orange to recognize the day and to encourage the city to reflect upon the legacy of Indian Residential Schools.

Another way to acknowledge the day, aside from wearing an orange shirt, is to take part in the Roots for Trees Plant Giveaway. Edmontonians are invited to pick up a plant, speak with an Elder and plant their tree as an act of reconciliation at Hawrelak Park from 10 am to 2 pm. More information on this event can be found on their event page.

An orange shirt day run/walk is also taking place at Indigenous Art Park. A ceremony begins at 3 pm, followed by the walk/run at 4 pm in support and awareness of those who did not survive the residential school era and for those who did.

The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society has partnered with the Assembly of Seven Generations, Project of Heart and Beechwood Cemetery to bring together a day of education, reflection and action towards reconciliation and to honour residential school survivors and victims. Activities include book readings, film screenings, Reconciling History walking tour led by guides including historian John Malloy, and an action table where you can participate. You can register online here.

If you are Indigenous and need support:

National Indian Residential School Crisis: 1-866-925-4419

Native Youth Crisis Line: 1-877-209-1266

Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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