The second National Truth and Reconciliation Day in shíshálh swiya (world or territory) will include a series of events for all to participate in.
For Sept. 30, shíshálh Nation, the syiyaya Reconciliation Movement and the District of Sechelt have coordinated activities as part of the year-long “In This We Journey Together” series to educate on the harms of residential schools, honour shíshálh culture and build relationships.
Starting at 9 a.m., the tems swiya Museum’s interactive hak’wat Exhibit will open. It invites people to write the name of a survivor or person lost to the residential school system, and words of care for their loved one. That exhibit will remain open throughout the day, until 4 p.m.
At 10 a.m., the Commemoration Ceremony will gather at the Grieving Mother monument (behind the shíshálh administration buildings and Raven's Cry theatre). That ceremony will remember the children of residential schools, honour the survivors and their families, and honour those who were lost.
At 10:45 a.m., the walk for truth and reconciliation will start from the Grieving Mother, continue to sinku Way and follow the same path the children from other First Nations would have taken to the residential school.
At 12:30 p.m., the new Reconciliation Crosswalk will be unveiled and blessed by survivors and children of the community. The crosswalk is located at the intersection of the Sunshine Coast Highway and Ti’Ta Way.
At 1 p.m., the community feast at the shíshálh Nation breezeway will begin.
Everyone is invited to wear an orange shirt.
For the first National Truth and Reconciliation Day, in 2021, shíshálh Nation released a video of elders sharing their experiences at residential schools. They wrapped the Grieving Mother statue with a blanket. A planned virtual ceremony was changed due to COVID-19. This year marks the first wide-scale public event for National Truth and Reconciliation Day on the Sunshine Coast.
Before National Truth and Reconciliation Day, there was Orange Shirt Day. Since 2013, Orange Shirt Day — also on Sept. 30 — has shared the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad whose orange shirt was confiscated on her first day of residential school. Her orange shirt became a symbol of the experiences of the many Indigenous children forced to attend residential school.
More information can be found at syiyayareconciliation.ca. Parking will be available at the Tsain-Ko Centre.