The Town of St. Marys plans to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. A media release reported there will be a variety of activities that will help promote healing and education in the community.
September 30th will begin with the raising of a unique orange flag at all five municipal facilities. The flag, which includes the words “Every Child Matters” was designed by Jeffrey “Red” George, an Ojibway artist who grew up on the lands of the First Nation of Kettle and Stoney Point.
The municipality also invites the community to wear orange to honour the memory of Indigenous children who suffered in the residential school system.
The release says that from 7:30 a.m. to approximately 5:00 p.m., a sacred fire will burn at the north end of Milt Dunnell Field. At 4:00 p.m. at Milt Dunnell Field, volunteers are planning a family art activity, in conjunction with the St. Marys Public Library and Indigenous author S.P. Joseph Lyons, an Anishinaabe Algonquin children's author; fantasy, Sci-Fi, Romance novelist, speaker, and Indigenous education advocate.
Mayor Al Strathdee said, “We will continue to promote education and events that allow us to heal as a community and better take into consideration Indigenous efforts and opinions in our activities moving forward.”
In addition to offering Indigenous resources on its social media, the Library will unveil a new “story walk”, suitable for all ages, in Cenotaph Park beside Town Hall on September 29. The featured book is The Seven Grandfather Teachings, which are morals and principles for all nations of Turtle Island, a name used by many Indigenous peoples for North America.
“We are grateful for the input of many individuals who have helped us begin to understand our past and to commit to a better feature,” Strathdee saadded. “We are especially grateful for guidance and teachings from Patsy Anne Day who is helping us on this journey.”
People can follow the Town of St. Marys on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information and updates.