There are not many ‘official’ ways in Abbotsford to mark the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation this Friday.
But there are a number of things happening throughout the week and on Friday that people will be taking part in. On Thursday, for example, teachers in the Abbotsford School District are invited to take part in a special day long event as part of their professional development.
It’s called Walking Forward Together: Day of Learning, and will take place at the University of the Fraser Valley’s Abbotsford campus. Participants will hear from 3 Crows Productions and Indigenous speakers through the day. Students and staff will all also get Friday off as the statutory holiday.
There is also a very accessible Story Walk event at Clearbrook Library taking place all week. Each page of a story called Sema:th Xo:tsa: Great Gramma’s Lake is placed along the walkway through the park space in front of the library. The story reminds the reader of the significance of Sumas Lake and the ripple effect its drainage by early settlers has had on Indigenous people even today.
The posted pages are available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, Sept. 23 to Sept. 30.
There are also two women who are holding a commemorating gathering at the civic plaza (also near Clearbrook Library) to “visibly demonstrate our regret for what has happened.”
They are going to be there from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30 and encourage others to drop by and have a moment of silence, “read a lament, bring flowers or write a note in memory of this tragic history and its ongoing impact through the generations.”
There are no official events taking place in Abbotsford, but there are in Mission and Chilliwack. Mission’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is at 11 a.m.. on Sept. 30 at Fraser River Heritage Park. It’s hosted by the Siwal Si’wes Indigenous education advisory council and education department, Mission school district and some members of the board of education, the Mission Friendship Centre and the city of Mission.
Guests are invited to wear orange, bring a lawn chair, water, snacks and a drum, if desired.
An event in Chilliwack will honour residential school “thrivers and survivors,” from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Coqualeetza Residential School memorial post. This is hosted by Sto:lo leadership and the Sts’elemeqw Residential School Thrivers Society.
There is also a pow wow at Chilliwack secondary Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, beginning with an Orange Shirt Day Parade.
To find out more suggestions on how to spend the day on Sept. 30, visit the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at nctr.ca.
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