Sept. 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The City of Belleville will be hosting a special ceremony at the Lions’ Pavilion in West Zwick’s Park beginning at 10 a.m. to honour this important event. The day will consist of a number of wonderful guest speakers including Chief R. Don Maracle of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, local author and energy healer Tara White, former professional hockey player Norm Maracle, fire keeper Greg Loft, and Bonnie Jane Maracle who will speak to the historical significance of the Tyendinaga Longhouse, as well as music by Jennifer Brant and Kieran Edwards. Those in attendance are encouraged to wear orange in honour of Orange Shirt Day.
“Sept. 30 is a day for education and reflection,” said Chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Councillor Sean Kelly. “It is a day for us all to learn more about the ongoing legacy of the residential school system and to commemorate the truth of the history from First Nations, Métis and Inuit knowledge keepers. It is also an opportunity to build relationships. I would like to encourage all residents to join us at West Zwick’s Park to listen, learn and reflect on the stories and history shared during this day of Truth and Reconciliation.”
In addition to the ceremony, the Belleville sign, Bridge Street Bridge and Fire Station #1 Memorial Garden will be lit in orange for the week. The flag at City Hall will also be lowered to half-staff as we remember and mourn all victims of the residential school system.
A 24-hour National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available to provide support for former residential school students. Emotional crisis referral services can be accessed by calling: 1-866-925-4419. Indigenous peoples across Canada can also go to The Hope for Wellness Help Line 24 hours a day, seven days a week for counselling and crisis intervention. Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat.