Tomorrow will mark Canada’s first ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
September 30 will be marked a federal statutory holiday after being named as one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.
The day has previously been marked by Orange Shirt Day, that honours victims and survivors of residential schools, but is declared a holiday for the first time this year.
Last Thursday, the City of Kingston sent out a news release declaring its participation in the holiday, services that will be impacted, and recommended ways to respectfully observe the occasion.
“September 30th is a day to acknowledge and make room for the deep work we must undertake as a community with respect to the painful history and ongoing legacy of residential schools and their traumatic effect on generations of Indigenous peoples,” said Mayor Paterson in the release.
Indigenous advocates have asked people to approach the day as they might Remembrance Day.
Non-indigenous members of the community can demonstrate their support by wearing orange shirts in solidarity, listening to the stories of residential school survivors and donating to Indigenous led causes.
Locally there will be a few in person events open to the public.
Tomorrow at Confederation Park there will be a vigil and Sacred Fire burning from sunrise to sunset.
This afternoon, Keywaywin Circle kicked off several days worth of events to honour National Day for Truth and Reconciliation beginning with grass dancers.
Tomorrow Keywaywin Circle and One Roof, in partnership with Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, will host a sunrise ceremony to light a Sacred Fire that will burn until sunset of October 3.
Indigenous led and centered activities will also be hosted at the Family and Children’s services offices throughout the next four days.
Kingston will see some services impacted by the holiday as administrative offices, the PumpHouse and Grand Theatre box office all close their doors.
Waste collection, public transportation and other city services will operate as normal.
Those who wish to further educate themselves on the holiday and Indigenous issues can find links to do so here.