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How to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Barrie and Simcoe County

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

On Saturday, Sept. 30, Canada will mark the third National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to recognize the impact of residential schools.

Those in Barrie and Simcoe County, Ont., have several options to mark the day.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was started in 2021 after the discovery of unmarked graves at former Indian residential schools and provides the public with the opportunity to learn about the stories of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and the ongoing legacy of residential schools.

The day is also known as Orange Shirt Day, where people are encouraged to wear an orange shirt to honour the children who survived Indian residential schools and remember those who did not.

More than 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children from across the country were forced to attend residential schools.

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The Truth and Reconciliation Commission that investigated the residential school system and its legacy estimated around 6,000 Indigenous children died at the federally funded institutions. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation maintains a student memorial register with more than 4,000 recorded names. Many experts believe the actual number to be much higher.

What is happening in Barrie

The Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin Primary Care Team of the Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle, the Barrie Native Friendship Centre, Red Quills, the City of Barrie and the Barrie Public Library have organized several events. Opportunities for the Barrie community are as follows:

Open House and Family Activities
City Hall Rotunda at 70 Collier St. on Sept. 29 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Flag Raising and Awareness Walk
City Hall Courtyard, 70 Collier St. on Sept. 29 at 4 p.m.

Sacred Fire and Sharing Circle
Spirit Catcher
25 Simcoe St. on Sept. 30, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To recognize National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, opportunities for community members to learn & reflect are being offered. Visit https://t.co/2xZv3q65fK for more information. #NDTR @mamawaypct @BarrieNativeFC @QuillsRed @BPL_inthecity

— The City of Barrie (@cityofbarrie) September 27, 2023

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What is happening in Innisfil

There are a number of ways for residents of Innisfil to acknowledge the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, including:

Video Screening: Phyllis Webstad’s Orange Shirt Day
Saturday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m. at the Cookstown, Stroud and Lakeshore branches of the Innisfil ideaLab and Library.

Indigenous History that Wasn’t Taught in School
Saturday, Oct. 21 from 1 to 3 p.m.

What is happening in Simcoe County

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons honours National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Sept. 30, 16164 ON-12, Midland from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

— with files from The Canadian Press’ Stephanie Taylor