Edmonton observes National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day to learn, reflect and connect

(Edmonton) – The City of Edmonton is inviting Edmontonians to learn, reflect and connect on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day that recognizes the history and legacy of residential schools.

“Officially recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in our City was an important step in our commitment to honouring Indigenous Peoples in Edmonton,” said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi.

“So far we have made progress on addressing over 30 of the 94 Calls to Action, and this official civic holiday specifically supports Call to Action No. 80. I encourage Edmontonians to take the opportunity on this day to better understand and reflect on the contributions, traditions, cultures and collective trauma of the diverse Indigenous Peoples who mark this territory. I am personally going to consider the ongoing effects of colonization today and every day, as I work with Administration on how we can address policies that do not embody the inclusive Edmonton we are building.”

The City’s journey to strengthen and build relationships with Indigenous peoples is guided and inspired by the Elder-shared concept of wahigicicobi, a lethka Nakoda word meaning “kinship relationships,” and is demonstrated through the City’s Indigenous Framework. Elders also shared the concepts of Wâhkôhtowin and ilagiingniq, the Cree and inuktun terms for “kinship,” with the City during the development of the Framework.

Events to encourage reflection

Edmontonians can engage in the reconciliation process by participating in local activities, learning opportunities and/or commemorative community events.

In honour of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the City is partnering with artist Lance Cardinal to host a blessing and performance to unveil a new decorative crosswalk at Indigenous Art Park ᐄᓃᐤ (ÎNÎW) River Lot 11∞ on September 28. Two traffic control boxes – near Kinsmen Park and City Hall, respectively – will also be wrapped with his artwork. For more information please see event details here: https://fb.me/e/1g0nhupR

The Edmonton Police Service invites Edmontonians to join them on Friday, September 29, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Sir Winston Churchill Square in honour of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. EPS will serve bannock and soup and have performances by traditional pow wow dancers, a hoop dancer and drummers. Crafts available for friends and family. Elders will be present at this event.

The City is partnering with Indigenous Runner RunConciliAction for the third annual Orange Shirt Day Run & Walk at Kinsmen Park from noon to 5 p.m. on September 30. In addition to the community walk and run, there will be many other Indigenous organizations and vendors on-site sharing about cultural practices, art, and community supports. The City’s Root for Trees team will be gifting visitors with 2,500 native trees, shrubs and wildflowers to honour the victims, families, friends and intergenerational survivors of residential schools. To help recognize the significance of this day, a City bus wrapped in an Indigenous art wrap designed in partnership with iHuman Youth Society will be on display. The bus, which features submissions from young artists nestled within a sweetgrass braid, remains in service year-round.

Also known as Orange Shirt Day, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation honours the survivors of residential schools, their families and communities, as well as the children who never returned home. It is also a day to reflect and engage in dialogue and learning on the lasting impacts of colonization, anti-Indigenous systemic racism and on the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

For a list of more events and affected city services, visit edmonton.ca/TruthandReconciliationDay.

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