The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was observed with flag raising, Every Child Matters walk and stories of suffering, survival and grit

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was observed with flag raising, Every Child Matters walk and stories of suffering, survival and grit

Friday was the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This year’s event was especially important in light of the thousands of new unmarked graves found in Saskatchewan and the rest of Canada. The day was first observed in 2013 to commemorate victims of the residential school systems and its impact on Indigenous communities all over Canada.

The observance started on last Tuesday when Mayor Jeff Lehman, raised the Every Child Matter orange flag at the City Hall in presence of Elder Ernestine Baldwin and Samantha Kinoshameg of Barrie Native Friendship Centre. 

“Children are the gift of the Creator, we are responsible for their care and safety,” said Bladwin. “Before contact with Europeans, Indigenous people had their way of raising children, teaching them what they needed to know, at each stage of life.” She also said “the government and the churches are responsible for taking away our culture, our language, spirituality. They are responsible for the mental, physical, emotional, sexual abuse and the genocide of our children.”

“Reconciliation is a generational effort,” Mayor Lehman said in his message to the next council and mayor. Lehman asked them “to meet with, talk with, spend the time to understand what our indigenous community has been through, what the legacy of residential schools are, and then to work actively, to change things going forward.”

“At the heart of the matter is how do we support each other now so that we can take care of our future generations,” said Samantha Kinoshameg, executive director of Barrie Native Friendship Centre. 

Representatives of Indigenous community were joined by a large number of city employees including representatives of Barrie Police and Barrie Fire.

On Friday, hundreds of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people gathered at Spirit Catcher in Barrie to remember the children who never returned home. A walk was held on water in a solemn beat of drum and Indigeous songs. There were many sharing circles where residential school survivors and their loved ones shared stories. The event ended with a dance circle around Spirit Catcher. 

Follow the time stamps in the description to jump to different sections of the video. 

Friday was the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This year’s event was especially important in light of the thousands of new unmarked graves found in Saskatchewan and the rest of Canada. The day was first observed in 2013 to commemorate victims of the residential school systems and its impact on Indigenous communities all over Canada.

The observance started on last Tuesday when Mayor Jeff Lehman, raised the Every Child Matter orange flag at the City Hall in presence of Elder Ernestine Baldwin and Samantha Kinoshameg of Barrie Native Friendship Centre. 

“Children are the gift of the Creator, we are responsible for their care and safety,” said Bladwin. “Before contact with Europeans, Indigenous people had their way of raising children, teaching them what they needed to know, at each stage of life.” She also said “the government and the churches are responsible for taking away our culture, our language, spirituality. They are responsible for the mental, physical, emotional, sexual abuse and the genocide of our children.”

“Reconciliation is a generational effort,” Lehman said in his message to the next council and mayor. Lehman asked them “to meet with, talk with, spend the time to understand what our indigenous community has been through, what the legacy of residential schools are, and then to work actively, to change things going forward.”

“At the heart of the matter is how do we support each other now so that we can take care of our future generations,” said Samantha Kinoshameg, executive director of Barrie Native Friendship Centre. 

Representatives of Indigenous community were joined by a large number of city employees including representatives of Barrie Police and Barrie Fire.

On Friday, hundreds of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people gathered at Spirit Catcher in Barrie to remember the children who never returned home. A walk was held on water in a solemn beat of drum and Indigeous songs. There were many sharing circles where residential school survivors and their loved ones shared stories. The event ended with a dance circle around Spirit Catcher. 

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