Visitors to Maffeo Sutton Park on Monday, Sept. 27, watch the installation of a new welcome totem pole carved by Snuneymuxw carver Noel Brown. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo to observe National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Snuneymuxw First Nation, City of Nanaimo, Nanaimo-Ladysmith Public Schools partner on event

  • Sep. 28, 2021 12:00 a.m.

Children who died at residential schools and the ones who survived the harm are being honoured on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, Sept. 30.

Snuneymuxw First Nation, the City of Nanaimo and Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools are hosting a community event called Honouring our Children and Survivors on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 30 at Maffeo Sutton Park.

According to a press release, the event is intended “to bring awareness to honour and remember residential school survivors and their families and consider ways in which we can continue to reflect on the truth and advance reconciliation in our community.”

There will be speeches from community leaders, comments from Indigenous community members who were impacted by residential schools, a welcome pole ceremony, Snuneymuxw flag recognition, cultural performances and children’s activities. Community members are invited to attend the event and wear orange to show their support.

Snuneymuxw Chief Michael Wyse said in a press release that he encourages people to reflect on the impacts of residential schools and begin a process of deeper healing and understanding. He said “nobody is immune to the dark and tragic truths” of residential schools, Indian hospitals for Snuneymuxw and other Indigenous people.

“The individual and collective harm, injury and continued inequitable treatment onto our people lie squarely at the feet of all levels of government and the church,” Wyse said. “Despite this and the intergenerational impact, our people are incredibly resilient and strong to persevere through generations and stand tall and open to live together harmoniously.”

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