St. Catharines City Hall honours National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a day earlier
Published September 22, 2023 at 2:34 pm
Since National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Sept. 30, falls on a Saturday this year, St. Catharines City Hall staff will be shifting their ceremony one day sooner to Friday, Sept. 29.
Partnering with the Niagara Regional Native Centre (NRNC) to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Orange Shirt Day, more recently recognized as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, there will be a commemorative ceremony held at 10 a.m. on the front steps of St. Catharines City Hall.
Mayor Mat Siscoe will provide a welcome and land acknowledgement. The mayor’s remarks will be followed by some words from members of our local Indigenous communities and NRNC singers will perform songs for reflection.
“The City of St. Catharines is honoured to once again partner with the NRNC to commemorate Orange Shirt Day,” said Shannon McHugh, the city’s Manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
“While truth and reconciliation is a year-round commitment, we are privileged to be able to gather with Indigenous community members leading up to National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to publicly commemorate the painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools”.
The ceremony will also feature the raising and lowering of the ‘Every Child Matters’ flag in honour of survivors, their families and the communities affected by the legacy of residential schools.
Attendees are encouraged to wear orange to the event. Free parking will be available at all lots and meters in the downtown core (garages and permit lots excluded) on Friday, Sept. 29 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In support of the NRNC and Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre’s food pantries, donations will be accepted beginning Sept. 29 up to and including Oct. 13.
Donations can be made at City Hall or any branch of the St. Catharines Public Library. Most needed items include canned proteins, kids’ school snacks, rice, pasta and pasta sauce, and canned vegetables.
Following the ceremonial event, attendees are encouraged to check out the Indigenous book collection at the St. Catharines Public Library, across the street from City Hall.
Some titles that are being offered include Black Water: Family, Legacy and Blood Memory by David Robertson, Permanent Astonishment: A Memoir by Tomson Highway, and many more.
Several Indigenous-focused events are happening during the weeks surrounding National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
These include the Valley of the Birdtail Virtual Author Talk, held in collaboration between the Lincoln Pelham Public Library, and the St. Catharines Public Library, and partially funded by the Niagara Community Foundation, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 25 and the ninth Annual Nurturing Our Roots Traditional Powwow held by the NRNC at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines at noon on Oct. 7.
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