TORONTO — Ceremonies, marches and other gatherings are taking place across the country today as communities mark the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined representatives of various First Nations and dozens of people in orange for a sunrise ceremony this morning in Niagara Falls, Ont.
Trudeau stood silently as the ceremony took place and later spoke with residential school survivors.
In Toronto, a gathering at the city’s downtown Nathan Phillips Square saw Indigenous songs performed as onlookers, some wearing orange shirts, cheered.
Some of the other events scheduled today include the illumination of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in orange, programming about residential schools at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and a community powwow at the Victoria-area Songhees Nation.
The day, also known as Orange Shirt Day, is a federal statutory holiday that was established last year following the discovery of suspected unmarked burial sites at former residential schools.
The day was declared after hundreds of potential unmarked burial sites of Indigenous children were found by First Nations near former residential schools, including by the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc nation in Kamloops and Saskatchewan’s Cowessess First Nation.