FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – An event will be held in Centennial Park today as Canada marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The statutory holiday will coincide with Orange Shirt Day on September 30th every year to commemorate the tragic history of residential schools in Canada.
The Centennial Park event begins at 11 a.m. with drumming and opening prayer followed by the Walk for Truth and Reconciliation.
There will also be cave tours from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tse’K’wa caves in Charlie Lake.
Connie Greyeyes, with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, will be the MC of the event. Mayor Lori Ackerman will also be speaking, and there will be open mic time for survivors to speak.
Greyeyes says the event is an important one, and everyone is welcome to attend and show support.
“You do not have to be Indigenous to come and support such an important day for Indigenous peoples across Canada. We welcome everyone and hope to see many people there to support the survivors that that are in Fort St. John and will be in attendance,” says Greyeyes
“I think it’s it’s a really important show of solidarity, to wear your orange shirt that day, and to really look into residential schools and the history of Indigenous people in their relationship with Canada.”
The federal government announced the stat day in June, and all federal employees and federally regulated workplaces will have the day off.