Honouring Indigenous children, families on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation


Many events are being held this week across Canada to honour Indigenous children and families as the nation marks its second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Friday.

Sept. 30 was set aside last year as a federal statutory holiday to commemorate children who died while being forced to attend church-run and government-funded residential schools, and those who survived, as well as the families and communities still affected by the lasting trauma.

Here’s a look at how the day and week are being observed.

In Regina, a crowd estimated at over 12,000 fills Mosaic Stadium on Thursday to celebrate the inaugural Miyo-wîcîwitowin Day.

(Michael Bell/The Canadian Press)

Traditional Indigenous dancers perform at the event, which is meant to build awareness of the past and create a better future by understanding the importance of implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action in the spirit of reconciliation.

(Laura Sciarpelletti/CBC)

In Toronto, singers with Thunder Woman Healing Lodge perform at the Indigenous Legacy Gathering, a multi-day event organized by the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre at Nathan Phillips Square on Thursday. 

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Lisa Odjig Mchayle performs a hoop dance at the gathering.

(Alex Lupul/The Canadian Press)

Evan Redsky plays guitar at the event.

(Evan Mitsui/CBC)

To honour residential school survivors and children who never returned home, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) artist Wyler Diome-Montour, who is from Kahnawake, south of Montreal, designed bright orange crosswalks.

(Ka’nhehsí:io Deer/CBC)

Just under a dozen crosswalks throughout Kahnawake, most surrounding local elementary schools such as outside Kateri School pictured below, are repainted bright orange with stencils of white eagle feathers on Wednesday. 

(Ka’nhehsí:io Deer/CBC)

First Nations from southwestern Manitoba are riding united on a six-day journey beginning Sept. 25, honouring Every Child Matters for Truth and Reconciliation Week. Here, Unity Riders are pictured near Elkhorn, Man., on Tuesday.

Men ride horses and a bicycle.

(Chelsea Kemp/CBC)

Keira Jean Gamblin kisses her horse at the Every Child Matters Ride near Elkhorn.

A girl kisses her horse on the nose.

(Chelsea Kemp/CBC)

People take part in a ceremonial survivors’ flag-raising event to honour Indigenous People who were forced to attend residential schools, on the grounds of the Victoria legislature on Wednesday.

(Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press)

Telaxten (Paul Sam), left, looks on as T’Sooke Elder Shirley Alphonse blesses the ceremonial survivors’ flag raising event.

(Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press)

Members of the Musqueam First Nation perform a welcome dance before Musqueam Coast Salish artists at Magee Secondary School in Vancouver on Sept. 23.

(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Musqueam Coast Salish artists and siblings Chrystal Sparrow, left, and Chris Sparrow unveil a spindle whorl carving they created as a gift to the school from the 2019 graduating class. The carving was unveiled ahead of Truth and Reconciliation Week, as part of an art and film project in collaboration with the Musqueam First Nation, the school and local businesses.

(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

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