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First National Day for Truth and Reconciliation marked with free events in Guelph

The week-long event will offer free educational opportunities commemorating Canada's first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
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Ascension Harjo achieves flight. Rob O'Flanagan/GuelphToday

In line with the newly created National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday, the City of Guelph and the Rotary Club of Guelph have put together several free events called TOWARDS TRUTH.

Aimed at educating goers about Residential Schools and the importance of the recent discovery of unmarked graves, the event will promote a knowledge-based discussion on the history of Indigenous affairs in Canada.

“We thought maybe if we can put some events together the people who are looking to learn can go to these events to learn some more,” said Dianne Dance, event organizer. “Until we can really understand history it is going to be very hard to move on to reconciliation, so we thought what we could do is provide a platform for people to learn.”

The events require a pre-registration and for all attendees to be double vaccinated with their provincial vaccine certificate in hand.

Running from Sept. 27 to Oct. 3, the events are free, however, limited tickets are available for each event.

The series kicks off Sept. 27 at 7:00 p.m. with key speakers Ava Hill, Phil Monture and residential schools survivors Roberta Hill and Dawn Hill.

“I hope that they can walk away and say ‘I understand a little bit better of today’s Indigenous issues,” said Dance.

The newly-created National Day for Truth and Reconciliation falls in the middle of the event, with Sept. 30 marking the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The federal holiday marks the recognition and honours Indigenous Peoples who lost their lives at Canadian residential schools, survivors, their families and communities.

The provincial government will not make the day a provincial holiday.

“I think it is unfortunate that Ford has chosen not to recognize it, but that doesn't mean that people can’t learn anyway,” said Dance. “We need to be responsible for our education and understanding of these events and Doug Ford can’t stop us.



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Daniel Caudle

About the Author: Daniel Caudle

Daniel Caudle is a journalist who covers Guelph and area
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