Thursday will mark Canada’s first National Truth and Reconciliation Day, and in an effort to recognize the importance of the federal holiday, the Kingston Seniors Center partnered with the local Indian community to take time and reflect.
Don Amos, executive director of the Kingston Region Seniors Association, says, “When the federal government introduced the legislation, we wanted to find a way for our association to offer its support to the indigenous community.”
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Following the grim discovery of 215 nameless graves at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, and then hundreds more across the country, the Canadian government went ahead with one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action. .
This resulted in the establishment of a legal holiday that recognizes and honors the survivors of the residential school.
Lorie Young identifies herself as Cree-Metis. She is a Kingston local and says acknowledging wrongdoing is the first step.
“If you do something wrong and you know you’ve done something wrong, it’s confessing that you did it,” Young said.
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With around 50 people present, the senior center had reflection, dancing and singing. Out of respect for the traditions and intimacy of the ceremony, the spots, the moment of silence and the speech were not filmed.
“I think of the children who are no longer here and have gone to the spirit world. And even though they have gone to the spirit world, the creator knows where every bone is, where every ash in their body is, ”Young says.
The City of Kingston made the decision to mark the day as a civic holiday, giving many of its workers the day off in an effort to give them time to attend a meeting and reflect, much like Remembrance Day.
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