The City of Oakville offers a number of ways to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in the community throughout September this year.
Over the next few weeks, residents are “invited to participate in activities to learn more about the rich and diverse culture of Indigenous peoples and reflect on the generational impact, trauma and oppression experienced by Indigenous peoples across the country. Canada because of the residential school system.”
Most of the events and activities take place over the next three weeks, leading up to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30. Full lists are further down in this story.
Oakville, as we know it today, is rich with the history and modern traditions of many First Nations and Métis. From the lands of the Anishinabe to the Attawandaron, including the Haudenosaunee and the Métis, these lands surrounding the Great Lakes are steeped in Aboriginal history.
City staff say, “We acknowledge and thank the Mississaugas of Credit First Nation for being stewards of this land.
Various organizations including municipal facilities, Oakville Public Library (OPL), Oakville Museum and more. Highlights of events and activities for September 2022 include:
- Wear an orange shirt to raise awareness of the intergenerational impact and trauma residential schools have had on Indigenous communities and donate to the Orange Shirt Society (available here) to support their work in commemorating the residential school experience and promoting reconciliation.
- Join a march that begins at Oakville’s first orange crosswalk at the intersection of Thomas and Church Streets on Sunday, September 25 at 1:30 p.m.
- Take part in a virtual woodland painting class with two-spirit Ojibway artist Patrick Hunter on Friday, September 9 from 7-9 p.m. This course is part of Community Conversations with OPLwhich this month focuses on Indigenous arts, culture and voices. register here on the OPL website.
- Watch Indigenous films on the grounds of the Oakville Museum on September 23 from 6-11 p.m. The evening, presented in association with Indigenous community leaders, the OPL and other community partners, will feature the films Honoring Senator Murray Sinclair and Hi-Ho Mistahey! Prior to the film, Grandmother’s Voice and Our Kids Network will lead a beadwork activity in the Coach House while the BPO will share book recommendations based on themes from the films.
- Join Christine Friday as she explores her Anishinaabek roots, first with the film Path Without End, a 10-minute documentary dance film as we watch the Friday family reclaim their power from the Shingwauk residential school and speak their truth about their traditional tribal family hunting territory on September 30 at 8 p.m. For free tickets to the in-person event or the live broadcast eventvisit the Oakville Center for the Performing Arts website.
- Visit Oakville’s first orange crosswalk at Thomas and Church streets, which was painted orange in honor of the children of the residential school system. The intersection also includes a utility cabinet lid in a moccasin identification project design of four moccasins representative of Ontario’s four language groups and a permanent interpretive panel.
- Enjoy a walk along the Moccasin Trails and explore the history of the lands from an aboriginal perspective. Follow the Moccasin Trails signs along Bronte Creek Heritage Trail beginning at Rebecca Street and Mississaga Street and along Sixteen Mile Creek Inner Valley to Dundas Street West in Lions Valley.
- Visit Tannery Park and explore the First Nations History Wall and Moccasin Identifierwhich was built to raise awareness of significant cultural historic sites and the ancestral presence of First Nations, Métis and Indigenous communities.
- Make a traditional headdress bracelet with Indigenous artist Naomi Smith in a virtual workshop on Saturday, October 1 from 2-4 p.m. register here on the OPL website.
- Celebrate Indigenous culture and community with Planting Our Seeds: Resurgence of Indigenous Voices from October 5 to November 30. More details to come.
In addition to the activities offered by the city, the orange “Every Child Matters” flag will fly at City Hall during the week of September 26 and will be lowered on September 30. City Hall and Oakville Center for the Performing Arts will also be illuminated in orange during the week of September 26.
For more activities and information about the City of Oakville’s truth and reconciliation efforts, visit the Indigenous culture and community web page here.