This year Orange Shirt Day has become a national holiday – a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sep 30. The path to truth and reconciliation feels long and rocky right now. So many graves of children who died in residential schools are in the news, evidence of a genocide Canadians long denied.
To honour the children and resolve to do better, we invite everyone to gather at the informal “Teddy Bear Memorial” – the many stuffed animals and children’s shoes by the information kiosk at Evergreen Mall (just east of TD Bank and A&W):
Thursday, Sep 30 at 11 a.m. Teddy Bear Memorial (Rain or Shine)
Please wear orange if possible and COVID face masks of any colour. Bring drums if you like. And bring a lawn chair to sit in or share during the event if the weather allows.
Awareness is growing, not only about how many children died in residential schools but about the continuing lack of clean drinking water, the shocking numbers of indigenous children in care, the lack of adequate medical care or housing on reserves, etc. This year, we invite the Truth for Reconciliation (T4R) group to act on these and other issues.
Beginning in October and continuing through May, each of T4R’s monthly sessions will be an action-focused event. Action includes learning as well as doing. Providing support will be Sooke T4R’s Monique Pat (Aboriginal Liaison Nurse at VGH and daughter of T4R co-founder Linda Bristol), Jackie Planes deYaeger (Aboriginal Educator with SD 61 and sister of T’Sou-ke Chief Gordon Planes), as well as Edith Newman and Margaret Critchlow.
A list suggesting actions to support Reconciliation will be available at the event.