How to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Waterloo region

How to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Waterloo region


How to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Waterloo region's Profile

Friday is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and there are a number of events in and around Waterloo region to mark the day.

The day was started to honour children who died and those who survived residential schools, their families and communities.

People are encouraged to wear orange as part of an Indigenous-led grassroots movement Orange Shirt Day.

Below is a list of local events on Friday in order of the times when they are taking place.

Sacred fire ceremony

251 Jacob St., New Hamburg

7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This is an all-day sacred fire to honour those lost and those who survive, organizers say. Everyone is welcome and there will be a semah (tobacco) offering and drumming.

Sunrise ceremony, walk and learning circle

University of Waterloo, B.C. Matthews Hall Green

7 a.m. start

This event is organized by the University of Waterloo Office for Indigenous Relations. After the sunrise ceremony at 7 a.m., there will be opening remarks at 10:30 a.m., a walk around the campus’s ring road at 11 a.m., followed by a feast and learning circle. People are welcome to bring their drums and sing along.

Volunteer gardening party

1058 Spitzig Rd., Eminidowang Kitigaan (Spirit Garden for Everyone)

9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Anishnabeg Outreach invites all community members to help with garden maintenance and community building. All food and medicines grown in the garden is provided to more than 450 local Indigenous community members who are part of the organization’s spirit bundle program. Volunteers should bring shoes, gardening gloves and a water bottle.

Truth and Reconciliation: Indigenous Stories to Watch and Read

Kitchener Public Library

9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Visit the living room in the children’s department to watch and read recorded stories by Indigenous authors and illustrators like Brittany Juby, Julie Flett, Daryl Baker and Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley.

‘Remember Me, Remember Us’ walk

Start: 300 Frederick St., Kitchener

End: Clock tower in Victoria Park, Kitchener

10 a.m. start

Healing of the Seven Generations will host this walk through part of downtown Kitchener, following a different route from last year.

The walk is “to spread awareness of and reflect on the tragedies experienced by Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island as a result of the country’s former residential school system,” the group says.

At the park, there will be a number of guest speakers and drumming.

Reflections on Reconciliation

Branion Plaza, University of Guelph

10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

A short ceremony will be held to mark Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Orange Shirt Day printmakers

Stratford Perth Museum

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday

The museum invites people to bring an orange shirt to design their own Every Child Matters shirt and use a century old printing press to stamp the mark on the shirt for free.

No Word for Art with Naomi Smith

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Guelph Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk St.

Indigenous artist and educator Naomi Smith will lead participants on a journey through historical and contemporary beadworks. Participants will create their own beaded hair-pipe. Registration is required for this in-person event.

Recorded storytime

Guelph Public Library (online)

10:30 a.m.

Guelph musician and Coun. James Gordon will read Indigenous stories, including The Orange Shirt Story by Phyllis Webstad. Registration is required.

CBC News Special

12:30 p.m.

On CBC News Netowrk, CBC Gem, and on CBC Radio One.

CBC will mark the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with extensive coverage. A CBC News Special live from Ottawa will begin at 12:30 p.m. and covers events to commemorate the day.

At 1 p.m., Falen Johnson hosts the live coverage on CBC Radio One called Remembering The Children.

CBC Music will exclusively feature Indigenous artists and composers from 6 a.m. to midnight.

CBC Gem has a Truth and Reconciliation Collection online that features movies, specials and documentaries for streaming anytime.

Orange Shirt Day vigil

Victoria Park, Kitchener

7 p.m. start

A sacred fire will be held at the original site of Land Back Camp. The event will include drumming, speakers and a moment of silence.

Cambridge Orange Shirt Day

Cambridge Sculpture Garden, 53 Grand Ave. S., Cambridge

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

This will be an evening of song, drumming and speakers. Orange glow sticks will be available and attendees will share a moment of silence. People are encouraged to bring their drum and a blanket or chair.

Conversations in Pipigwan Flute with Rene Meshake

7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Guelph Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk St.

Join Ojibwe multidisciplinary artist and residential school survivor Rene Meshake in a presentation of Anishinaabe storytelling, poetry, music and song. To attend in person, registration is required. The event will also be streamed live on the museum’s Facebook page.

Did we miss an event on Friday? Email us the details.

Support is available for anyone affected by their experience at residential schools or by the latest reports.

A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.

Mental health counselling and crisis support is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Hope for Wellness hotline at 1-855-242-3310 or by online chat at

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