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Squamish events mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Here are two local events in recognition of Sept. 30.
Freedom of Squamish 2018
In 2018, Elders Kiyowil (Bob Baker), Chésha7 (Gwen Harry), and Humteya (Shirley Toman) were given the honour Freedom of the Municipality. The Squamish Nation Elders will be speaking about their experiences at a library event on Sept. 29. [Thor Thor Froslev was also honoured at that 2018 ceremony.]

Wondering what to do to mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation set for Thursday, Sept. 30? 

Here are a few Squamish options. 

The Squamish Public Library is hosting “Honouring Residential School Survivors,” on Sept. 29. 

The virtual event is an opportunity to honour and listen to Squamish Nation Elders who are survivors of Canada’s Indian Residential School system:

 Elders Kiyowil (Bob Baker), who attended St. Michael’s in Alert Bay, Chésha7 (Gwen Harry), who attended St. Michael’s in Alert Bay and Humteya (Shirley Toman), who attended St. Paul’s in North Vancouver are set to speak. 

The introduction and moderation will be by TlatlaKwot (Christine Baker).

Register for this event here.

In October, the library’s Sea-to-Sky Book Club is also digging into 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, by Bob Joseph. 

Anyone interested is invited to a four-part discussion of the book. 

Find out more or sign up here. 

The Sea to Sky Community Services Society is also hosting a virtual Conversation on Reconciliation on Sept. 29 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. 

“This is an invitation to come together to share ideas, stories, and to explore how we, as a community, can make the culture, history, and modern reality of local Indigenous Peoples become present and apparent throughout our organization, community, and region,” reads a news release about the event.  

“Hosted by the SSCS and guided by members of both the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations, we invite you to participate in discussing Reconciliation: what it is, why its needed, and why conversations about Reconciliation are important. The format is intended to be a safe and inclusive space for everyone.”

Click here to join the Zoom meeting.

For Sept. 30, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation members are organizing a downtown Truth and Reconciliation Commemoration Event

“We will be gathering as [a] community to honour, remember and pay our respects to the survivors of the residential schools and those who never made it home. We will also celebrate our resilience as Indigenous Peoples and the resurgence and reclamation of our ancestral teachings,” reads the event’s description. 

Meet at O’siyam Pavillion, downtown at 1 p.m. The event runs until 3 p.m.

Go to the “Truth and Reconciliation Commemoration Event” event Facebook page for more details as they unfold. 

Earlier this summer, the federal government passed legislation making Sept. 30 the federal statutory holiday: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

It is a designated day off for federal employees. 

“This day provides an opportunity for each public servant to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools. This may present itself as a day of quiet reflection or participation in a community event,” reads the government release from July. 

The move was in response to the Call to Action 80 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations that asked for a national holiday “to honour survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”

***For immediate assistance to those who may need it, the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419***

**Please note, this story was updated when the organizers changed the start time for the downtown event to 1 p.m. from 2 p.m. It was also updated with an event from Sea to Sky Community Services.

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