The Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre and the City of Toronto are hosting a two-day Indigenous Legacy Gathering at Nathan Phillips Square this week.
The gathering is to honour survivors of residential schools and those who have suffered from intergenerational trauma as a result of residential schools. The gathering will be held Thursday and Friday.
The gathering will feature art, music, workshops, presentations and teachings from various Indigenous cultures.
Nathan Phillips Square will also feature tipis designed by Indigenous artists and youth.
The gatherings will each begin with a sunrise ceremony and will be followed by speakers and presentations. In the evenings, there will be special entertainment. All events are free and family-friendly, according to the City.
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The gathering will also bring attention to the Spirit Garden that will become a permanent fixture at Nathan Phillips Square by 2023. This is to in accordance with call to action 82 of the 94 calls to action put forth by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015.
The 82nd call to action reads: “We call upon provincial and territorial governments, in collaboration with Survivors and their organizations, and other parties to the Settlement Agreement, to commission and install a publicly accessible, highly visible, Residential Schools Monument in each capital city to honour Survivors and all the children who were lost to their families and communities.”
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The Spirit Garden will be a culture space to honour residential school survivors and those who continue to be impacted by residential schools today. It will be at the south-west portion of Nathan Phillips Square.
“Council Fire is proud to host this year’s Indigenous Legacy Gathering once again, following a 20-month lockdown and recent discoveries of those unmarked gravesites,” Andrea Chrisjohn, board designate, Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre said in a press release.
“This gathering will serve as an opportunity to bring our families, friends, and supporters together in a setting that celebrates the resilience of residential school survivors who continue to embrace their national identities through their voice, language and practices, denied to them in these institutions.”