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How to participate in the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Ottawa

By Apartment613 on September 29, 2022


Friday, September 30, is the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. In observance of this day of remembrance and learning, Apt613 will not publish any new articles tomorrow. If you would like to participate in commemorating the day, here is a roundup of events happening in Ottawa-Gatineau.

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation events

Remember Me: National Day of Truth and Reconciliation Ceremony
Parliament Hill

A national youth-led initiative on Parliament Hill featuring an opening ceremony with Elder Claudette Commanda, performances, and speakers such as Autumn Peltier⁠—Global Indigenous Water Activist & Chief Water Commissioner, Anishinabek Nation. An eagle feather ceremony for Survivors will begin at 8:30am.

Traveling Song & Spirit Walk
Parliament Hill to LeBreton Flats

Join a walk from Parliament Hill to LeBreton Flats Park led by children and residential school Survivors. Upon arriving at the park, thousands of attendees will place Indigenous children’s footwear on the stage as a symbol of remembrance of the children who never made it home.

Remembering the Children live broadcast
LeBreton Flats Park

The NCTR and APTN have come together to produce a one-hour commemorative gathering presented in English, French, Inuktitut, and Cree that will broadcast live at 1pm from LeBreton Flats Park in Ottawa. Tune in to hear Survivors’ personal reflections as well as His Honour Murray Sinclair, speak about their experiences and the importance of reconciliation. The commemoration will include performances by Chubby Cree, Dennis Saddleman, and many more, and will serve as an opportunity for everyone to grieve, heal, and learn about this tragic history.

Beechwood Cemetery events

Spirit Bear and Children Make History screening and Reconciliation Tour
Register here for time slots at 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, or 5pm

This stop-motion animation film tells the story of Spirit Bear hopping a train to Ottawa and banding together with children and animals to end injustice against First Nations children at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

Following the screening, visitors can join a 45-minute Reconciliation Tour of the grounds and learn from key historical figures who were involved in the Indian Residential Schools and about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.

Reconciling History Walking Tour of Downtown Ottawa

Each point of interest along the route is an opportunity to learn about the role of non-Indigenous peoples and the federal government in residential schools, and the lessons we can glean from history to address contemporary injustices experienced by Indigenous peoples. The tour will begin at 61 Sparks St.

Ottawa Public Library events

Branches open on September 30:
Beaverbrook, 2500 Campeau Drive
Cumberland, 1599 Tenth Line Road
Greenboro, 363 Lorry Greenberg Drive
Main,120 Metcalfe Street
Nepean Centrepointe,101 Centrepointe Drive
Ruth E. Dickinson, 100 Malvern Drive
St Laurent, 515 Côté Street

Join Bevann Fox, author of the award-winning book Genocidal Love, for a talk regarding the intergenerational impact of residential schools at Nepean Centrepointe branch (9:30–10:30am) and Beaverbrook branch (1:30–2:30pm).

Meet Jay Odjick, a writer, artist, and television producer from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community, who will speak about his community’s experience and the way it informed his career at St-Laurent Branch (10:30–11:30am) and Ruth E. Dickinson Branch (2–3pm).

Learn more from the bilingual family Storywalk® of the book When We Were Alone by David Alexander Robertson⁠—at all seven branches open that day.

Watch National Film Board films related to the trauma caused by the residential school system at all seven branches open that day.

Reflect on the Youth on Reconciliation: Imagine a Canada exhibition by Legacy of Hope Foundation (Ruth E. Dickinson branch).

Take home a copy of the 94 Calls to Action booklets published by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, a curated booklist, and other suggested resources to help you get a better understanding of the residential school legacy at all seven branches open that day.

Algonquin College events

All three campuses will have a Legacy Of Hope Foundation exhibit on display: Escaping at Ottawa; Generations Lost at Pembroke; and Bi-Giwen at Perth. Each campus will also fly the Every Child Matters flag.

Recognition Ceremony and Commemorative Sculpture Unveiling on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Ishkodewan (Ottawa campus, 1385 Woodroffe Ave., building C)

Please join President and CEO Claude Brulé in Ishkodewan at the Ottawa Campus to listen to and learn Indigenous storytelling with community Knowledge Keeper and Indigenous Rights Advisor Michael Desautels. Algonquin College will then unveil a monument created by local artist Barry Ranger to commemorate the discovery of unmarked graves at former residential schools across the country.

Mamidosewin Centre activities
All day

The Mamidosewin Centre (Ottawa campus) will be open for students dropping in to host supportive discussions. The Centre intends to provide a place students can go to feel supported, make sense of what reconciliation means to them, and have a meal as well as supportive dialogue.

9:30am: Morning smudge and welcome breakfast

11:30am–1pm: Chili and bannock lunch

1–4pm: Speakers Series: The History of Colonization from Pre-Contact to Truth and Reconciliation led by Eric Johnston and Jackie Tenute

Beans Film Screening
Nawapon (Ottawa campus)

Join to watch the multiple-award-winning film Beans and hear a special talk by Director Tracey Deer. Afterwards, there will be space for reflection and discussion outside by the fire, which will be moderated by the Asinabka Film and Media Arts Festival.  This event is a collaborative effort by Learning and Teaching Services, Film and Media Production, the Truth and Reconciliation Initiative, as well as the Asinabka Film and Media Arts Festival.

Other events

Màmawi Together Survivors’ Gathering
LeBreton Flats Park

On Thursday, September 29 and Friday, September 30, hear the testimonies of survivors from Ottawa, Quebec and Northern Canada, take part in cultural and traditional celebrations, and honour those impacted by the residential school system. Visit the Màmawi Together website for more information and to register to participate in the scheduled activities.

The Journey of the Beaded Vamp
Residence Commons Conference Room 270/272/274, Carleton University

Last year, Deborah Young, a Cree social worker and Carleton University PhD candidate and lecturer whose parents are residential school survivors, came across a call from a First Nation woman in the Yukon asking for people to create vamps⁠—the beaded upper part of a moccasin—in memory of the children who never returned from residential schools. This inspired Young to organize a vamp collection in Ottawa in late June 2021. She sent out the call and enlisted the help of her Carleton colleagues to spread the word amongst Indigenous students.

The collective call garnered 356 vamps bearing images of the sun shining on graves, numbers representing lives lost or other commemoration of family members, friends and even strangers. Young worked with Cree/Mohawk artist Michelle Thompson to place the vamps in a series of three frames, designed to represent the journey of Indigenous children through residential schools. There will be an in-person unveiling ceremony at Carleton on September 30.

Kimberly Murray, Independent Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites Associated with Indian Residential Schools, will speak at the unveiling about the role universities have in advancing reconciliation.

Native Women’s Association of Canada events
120 Promenade du Portage, Gatineau

The Native Women’s Association of Canada invites you to help us honour and remember the children and families left behind and the survivors of residential schools. Please visit our office to view our commemorative art exhibit honouring our children, families and survivors and our extensive collection of Indigenous art; watch a film on residential schools in our Mother Earth room; participate in a crafting activity to commemorate our children; participate in a traditional smudge, drumming and singing; share refreshments with us; and participate in a storytelling event from 1-3pm.