The City of Guelph and the Rotary Club of Guelph’s Indigenous Awareness Committee have put together a number of free events to coincide with Sept. 30, which marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
TOWARDS TRUTH will include guest speakers and films along with activities, installations and exhibits at the Guelph Civic Museum.
It gets underway on Sept. 27 with a speaking event at the River Run Centre at 7 p.m.
Ava Hill, past Elected Chief of Six Nations Elected Council, will speak about Residential School and their continuing effect on Indigenous Peoples. Phil Monture, president of Nativelands Ltd., will speak about treaties and land claims. Residential school survivors, Roberta Hill and Dawn Hill, will also share their lived experiences.
Between Sept. 30 and Oct. 3, three films will each be shown two times at the Bookshelf Cinema on Quebec Street.
The Rotary Club has printed 500 copies of the book Towards Braiding with financial support from the City of Guelph.
The books are available to any organization or individuals wanting to learn more and help with diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, especially with the Indigenous community, the clubs said.
The Guelph Civic Museum is hosting Anishinaabe Oral Tradition with Rene Andre Meshake on Sept. 30 at 2 p.m., featuring storytelling and music.
An art installation by Métis artist Tracey-Mae Chambers is also on display. The exterior portion is available until Oct. 24, while the interior portion will remain on display until Feb. 27.
Both are free for the public to view.
A new exhibition at the museum will open to the public on Sept. 28 that focuses on the Original Peoples on the land now called Guelph.
More information about all of the events can be found on the Rotary Club of Guelph’s website.
The University of Guelph also announced that a ceremony led by Indigenous elders will be held on Johnston Green on Sept. 30.
The event is open to the U of G community. People may drop in from noon to 2 p.m. and are encouraged to wear orange clothing.
The City of Guelph will be lighting city hall, the Covered Bridge and the Civic Museum orange through Sept. 30 in commemoration.
The House of Commons unanimously supported legislation in June giving the Sept. 30 statutory holiday to all federal employees and workers in federally regulated workplaces.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will not be considered a provincial statutory holiday this year.