Snuneymuxw First Nation, the City of Nanaimo and Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools will hold Orange Shirt Day events this week, honouring victims and survivors of residential schools.
Friday, Sept. 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and events will take place at Rotary Bowl stadium, Q’unq’inuqwstuxw Field, Serauxmen Stadium, Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and Nanaimo Ice Centre, according to a press release.
An opening ceremony will be held at Rotary Bowl from 10-11 a.m. and cultural performances will follow from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. From noon to 4:15 p.m. people can swim and skate at the recreation centres. Food vendors will be on location and all activities and performances are free.
The release highlighted the recent re-naming of NDSS Community Field to Q’unq’inuqwstuxw, which means to “return or give back” in Hul’qumi’num, the language of Snuneymuxw First Nation.
Snuneymuxw spoke of the importance of remembering all the victims and survivors.
“We can continue to walk forward together and make things right for our families and future generations,” said Coun. Bill Yoachim, acting Snuneymuxw Chief, in the press release. “We invite you to stand tall with us, in honour of the children in our lives and the ones who never came home.”
Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said the city continues down the path of reconciliation.
“We commemorate all residential school survivors, their families, and those whose lives were taken. We covenant to work towards justice and reconciliation, for the betterment of all of us, especially our children,” he said.
Krog’s sentiments were echoed by Charlene McKay, school board chairperson.
“We come together to remember the children who never came home, the survivors of residential schools and government hospitals and their families,” McKay said in the press release. “We recommit to honouring the knowledge of the land and the Snuneymuxw way of being as we walk together creating a stronger community for all who live here.”
For more information, go to www.nanaimo.ca and click on ‘events’ and ‘National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.’