By: Laura Steiner
Today is September 30. The first ever Day for Truth and Reconciliation; a statutory holiday proclaimed earlier this year by the federal government, as well as Orange Shirt Day. Milton Mayor Gord Krantz has issued a statement encouraging residents to reflect, listen and learn.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but we are continuing to make efforts to cultivate strong relationships with our Indigenous community and to recognize our roles and necessary actions towards reconciliation,” Krantz said.
Earlier this year, Council adopted a formal Land Acknowledgement. A resolution officially recognizing the National Day of Truth and asking that the provincial government work with school boards to implement curriculum around Indigenous history, as well as installing an orange crosswalk, a staff review of 8 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Report (TRC) that deal with municipal issues, and the exploration of future public art installations.
Grandmothers Voice will be guiding a walk to honour the survivors, as well as the children who died, from 3-5 p.m. this afternoon at Country Heritage Park to mark the occasion. They have established a healing garden, as well as a centre for learning. They have using their Facebook page to educate Canadians by hosting weekly Facebook live videos with survivors who recount their experiences at the Mohawk Institute Residential School (also known as the Mush Hole).
This may be a hard day for Indigenous residents of Milton. If you find yourself in pain or distress, Residential School Crisis line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at: 1-866-4419. The Kids Help Phone can be reached at: 1-800-668-6868 or send a text message to: 686868. For more on Grandmothers Voice please visit their website
By: Laura Steiner