National Truth and Reconciliation Day: How Local Organizations Mark the Day

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Thursday marks Canada’s first National Truth and Reconciliation Day, a national day to honor and remember the indigenous survivors and victims of Canada’s residential school system.

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All federally and federally regulated workers will have the day off on Thursday, though indigenous leaders have called on the community to use the day as an opportunity to learn, not just another holiday.

Here’s how some organizations and municipalities in Windsor and Essex County are honoring truth and reconciliation:

Throughout the region, municipal offices are expected to be closed, although in some cases recreational activities or program rentals are taking place. Banks will be closed and many Ontario public service workers will also have the day off. The schools will function normally. Check with your destination before leaving.

The City of Windsor offered its staff an Indigenous Film Festival and various truth and reconciliation learning opportunities this week. On Thursday morning, the Every Child Matters flag will be raised in Charles Clark Square, and City Hall will glow orange until October 1. Transit Windsor will display orange ribbons on bus mirrors and head signs on the front of buses. read “# AnyNiñoMaterial”.

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The Windsor Professional Firefighters Association, WPFFA Local 455 and CUPE Locals 543 82 and 2067 representing the city’s internal, external and library workers, said in a statement urging the City of Windsor to declare a legal holiday and its members stand in solidarity with indigenous peoples in commemoration of the National Truth and Reconciliation Day.

ENWIN offices will be closed and their flags at half-staff. Their emergency line, 519-255-2727, remains available.

In Tecumseh, parks and recreation staff placed 215 orange ribbons in Lakewood Park Wednesday, representing the graves of 215 indigenous children discovered at the former Kamloops residential school.

Town of Lakeshore municipal offices will be closed and the city will share educational resources for its staff and community.

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The Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society will lower its flags at half mast and staff will participate in activities throughout the day as an agency and in the community.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit offices will be closed to the public.

The University of the Assumption, federated with the University of Windsor, canceled its Red Mass originally planned for September 30 and then moved to October 1. John Cappucci, director and rector of the University of the Assumption,He said that as National Truth and Reconciliation Day approaches, the focus should be “on healing, reconciliation and building positive relationships.”

Essex County is giving its staff the day off, providing educational resources, and encouraging them to attend community events to mark National Truth and Reconciliation Day.

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