Community opportunities to listen and learn
Sept. 30 is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and an opportunity to pause and remember the legacy of the residential school system, and to honour the survivors as well as their families and communities. It also coincides with Orange Shirt Day, which was founded by Phyllis Webstad in 2013 to raise awareness of the multi-generational trauma caused by the residential school system.
“This is an important time for us to reflect on the atrocities of the residential school system, the lives that were lost, and the trauma endured by survivors and their families,” says City of Leduc Mayor Bob Young. “This history is difficult, but reflection and acknowledgement are vital parts of the reconciliation process. To be a part of change, it requires internal reflection, the desire to know and learn more, and identify how we, individually and as an organization, are all Treaty People.”
To support community learning, the City of Leduc recently donated 10 copies of When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson to the Leduc Public Library. This book is geared towards elementary aged children and is intended to teach young people about a difficult time in history, empowerment and strength in an age-appropriate way. Additionally, a copy of the book has been left in each Wee Free Library in Leduc so residents can read, learn and return for others in their neighbourhoods to experience.
Over the next few weeks, the community is encouraged to participate in various activities in Leduc and the surrounding area:
- Attend Donita Large | Indigenous Series at the Maclab Centre for the Performing Arts on Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Ticket required; pay what you can, starting at $5
- Leduc Arts Foundry: Make your own orange shirt workshops on Sept. 26 and 27. For updates on times and details, keep an eye on Facebook.
- Town of Devon: Public event at Devon Healing Medicine Grounds on Sept. 30 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- City of Wetaskiwin: Public event at Diamond Jubilee Park on Sept. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Six orange flags will fly in place of the City of Leduc municipal flag at the Leduc Civic Centre from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2, and on Sept. 30, all flags (federal, provincial and orange) will fly at half-mast. They will return to full mast on Oct. 1.
The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress because of their residential school experience: 1-866-925-4419.