Ceremonies in Burlington mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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Published September 29, 2023 at 8:00 pm

There will be two ceremonies in Burlington tomorrow (Sept.30) that will serve to acknowledge the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The Orange Shirt Day Ceremony will feature the Healthy Aboriginal Men’s Circle Drum Group at Spencer Smith Park starting at 12:45 p.m.

Activities will include a land acknowledgement, a thanksgiving address, a condolence ceremony, a tearful honour song and a travelling song.

Then, at 2 p.m., also at Spencer Smith Park, the Walk Home Ceremony will take place. This presentation will feature WhiteEagle and Amber Kakiishiway who will honour those who never made it home.

Both events serve to remember those Indigenous children who were forced into residential schools by the Canadian government and administered by Christian Churches in the early days of Confederation.

The residential school system was used to isolate Indigenous children and force them to adapt to European-influenced lifestyles.

More than 150,000 children were placed in the schools during the 100 years of its existence. It is estimated up to 30,000 children died from disease while attending the schools that were spread out throughout the country.

“Wearing an orange shirt is a national movement to recognize the experience of those who went to Indian residential schools, to honour them, THE VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS, and to show a collective commitment to HONOUR THE VICTIMS AND THE SURVIVORS. TO ENSURE THAT THESE ATROCITIES WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN,” reads a statement by event organizers.

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