Truth and Reconciliation events to take place in Toronto this weekend
Published Friday, September 29, 2023 10:07AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 29, 2023 10:52AM EDT
Several events marking the third annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will take place in Toronto this weekend.
Held annually on Sept. 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, raises awareness for the legacy of the Canadian residential school system and honours the children who never returned home after being taken from their families.
Events are planned out across the weekend to commemorate the day. Here’s a few ways to observe the holiday in Ontario’s capital.
Community Pow Wow at Native Child and Family Services
Native Child and Family Services will host its 26th annual Pow Wow at Dufferin Grove Park on Saturday. The event will kick off at noon.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at the Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo will offer a number of activities on Saturday to honour Truth and Reconciliation Day. A smudge ceremony will open the zoo at 9:15 a.m., and later in the day there will be crafts and activities available for visitors to try at the First Nations Art Garden. Zoo admission will be free to all self-identifying Indigenous people.
Na-Me-Res hosts scared fire, Day of Remembrance
Na-Me-Res (Native Men’s Residence) will hold a Day of Remembrance and sacred fire to commemorate Truth and Reconciliation Day. The day will feature speeches, drum circles and crafts for Na-Me-Res residents and community members alike.
Sacred fire at Kempton Howard Park
Blake Street Public School will host a sacred fire on Friday, with knowledge keepers on site to lead observations of residential school victims and survivors. Donations will be collected to honour the drummers, singers and knowledge keepers on site.
Sunrise ceremony at Nathan Phillips Square
The Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre will host its sixth Indigenous Legacy Gathering Friday and Saturday at Nathan Phillips Square, with events including a sunrise ceremony, guest speakers, medicine workshops and a marketplace featuring Indigenous vendors. Space will also be available for residential school survivors to receive counselling and health support.