City of Kingston Recognizes National Truth and Reconciliation Day – Kingston | The Canadian News

This Thursday will mark the first National Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada, after the new legal holiday was announced in July.

Because it is a federal holiday, like Remembrance Day, not everyone in Ontario enjoys it. But the city of Kingston is turning it into a civic holiday, giving many of its workers a day off.

Mayor Bryan Paterson wants the community to seize the day to learn and reflect.

“I think it was a way to encourage people to have time to attend a meeting or to spend time in reflection, to model this day very much the way we do Remembrance Day,” says Paterson.

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The city is also organizing some events in honor of the new holiday. A sacred fire and vigil will take place from sunrise to sunset in front of the town hall, along with virtual events.

“I will come to the meeting and join the community members, and I will certainly encourage others in the community to come and spend some time in reflection, to speak with others and to be able, as a community, to share the same spirit of reconciliation, ”says Paterson.

The Senior Center will be closed for Truth and Reconciliation Day, so it will hold a ceremony the day before instead. The ceremony will include traditional indigenous dances, along with stories from survivors from residential schools.

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“Reconciliation begins with us. The truth comes from the indigenous community. We need to be part of the reconciliation and, in some parts, we have to initiate it, ”says the communications director of the Senior Center, Catherine Milks.

Queen’s University is also preparing some events throughout the day. There will be a holy fire gathering at Agnes Benidickson Field and a campus-wide moment of silence at 2:15 pm for the 215 children discovered in unidentified graves outside a former residential school in Kamloops, BC.

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The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24 hours a day to anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.

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