On Friday, September 30, Airdrie and the area will have the opportunity to experience Elder led healing and Indigenous culture in a meaningful way for National Truth and Reconciliation Day.
Elders and Knowledge Keepers from Stoney Nakoda, Kainai and Tsuut’ina First Nations and the Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3 will be coming to Nose Creek Park in Airdrie between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to raise a tipi and trapper’s tent, light a sacred fire, conduct a sacred pipe ceremony, share prayers, teachings, stories, songs and music.
"[This is an] event that brings our community together in reconciliation and honouring Survivors, their families, and their communities. Come and visit with First Nation and Métis Elders and Knowledge Keepers. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate in all aspects of the day from raising and lowering the tipi and trapper's tent, to listening to the Elder’s teachings, to enjoying a cup of tea and a taste of bannock made over an open fire and joining in a round dance," stated a press release from the Circle Connections for Reconciliation Society.
The Circle Connections for Reconciliation Society is a grassroots community-driven initiative organized by a team of dedicated volunteers bringing Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together in peace and friendship in Airdrie and the surrounding area, working together towards genuine and ongoing reconciliation in our community. The society said that September 30 is a day to honour the children who never returned home and Survivors of residential schools, as well as their families and communities.
"Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process."
September 30, is also known as Orange Shirt Day, which is also an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community intergenerational impacts of residential schools, and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”.
"The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations. On September 30, we encourage all Canadians to wear orange to honour the thousands of Survivors of residential schools."
According to the Circle Connections for Reconciliation Society, this family-friendly public event is made possible through a collaboration of Elders, Knowledge Keepers, the Circle Connections for Reconciliation Society and the City of Airdrie. Funding for this event has been provided by the Government of Canada and the City of Airdrie.
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