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As followers of Jesus - who has revealed Himself to care deeply about Truth and to always be seeking Reconciliation - this coming Saturday's National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a day that we as a church are called to enter into. It is a day to honour the survivors of residential schools, the children who never returned home, and their families and their communities.  But it is also a day to intentionally listen, learn and celebrate - honour - the lives and life of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada.  May this day be for us a holy invitation.

The purpose of this post is to share a few ways to participate in this significant day.  

South Island Powwow · September 30, 2023

Executive Director of the Songhees Nation:

We are super excited to invite the community to celebrate that day with us. It’s out of recognition of the children who never made it home from residential schools, and we felt it was really important to honour the survivors who are still with us in a day of ceremony. Powwow is ceremony, and it is celebration. It celebrates the resiliency of our culture which has survived many attempts to extinguish it throughout the years.

Royal Athletic Park (1014 Caledonia Ave)

Gates Open at 10 am, Grand Entries at 12 pm & 6 pm. Colours retire at midnight.  

Visit the Songhee's Nation Website for more information. 

3 important ways to engage before and on Sept 30th: 

(1) Delve into the stories, testimonies, and educational materials to learn more about the past and present impact of residential schools in Canada. 

Walk the Land: A Guided Prayer Walk a 32 min audio file provided by Canadian Baptist Ministries, to guide a prayerful and reflective commemoration, right on the very lands where you live, work, and play. 

Doctrine of Discovery: Stolen Land, Strong Hearts from the Anglican Church of Canada. A 1 hour documentary, highlighting the foundational role the Church played in the dehumanisation and oppression of Indigenous Peoples.

Clearing the Plains by Dr James Daschuk - a 1 hour 40 min talk exploring the wider historical subjugation of Indigenous Peoples, beyond residential schools, and the impact that is felt today.

(2) Join us at the Powwow, September 30, 2023 

Royal Athletic Park. Gates Open at 10 am, Grand Entries at 12 pm & 6 pm. Colours retire at midnight.  

Shuttle service available from 2100 Government Street to Royal Athletic Park, and free bike valet on Vancouver Street.

(3) Wear an Orange Shirt.  If you don't have one, consider contacting a Friendship Centre near you and asking if they know how you could support an Indigenous artist by purchasing an Indigenous made and sold Orange Shirt.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation can be a good place to start; although, as Christ followers, we dare not only do the work one day a year. To countinue learning, find more resources on our Every Child Matters page.