Three marches and races take place in London to honor the first-ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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Three marches will take place in London to honor the first-ever National Truth and Reconciliation Day this week.

Two of the three are organized by the N’Amerind Friendship Center in London; the other event is hosted by Turtle Island Healing Walk.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was legislated as a national holiday this summer by the federal government. The day is to honor children lost while attending residential schools and survivors, as well as their families and communities.

The holiday is one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action. Although it is not celebrated as a public holiday across the province, London will treat it as such.

Orange Shirt Day 5K Prayer Run

This five-kilometer run, which can also be walked, is organized by the N’Amerind Friendship Center. Although open to all, registrations are now closed. The event was approved by the city and the Middlesex-London Health Unit allowing 100 participants.

There are events leading up to the march starting at 4:15 p.m. at Springbank Park in London. It’s a fundraiser for the center itself.

There will be events leading up to the Orange Shirt Day 5K Prayer Run at 4:15 p.m. (N’Amerind Urban Aboriginal Healthy Living Program Facebook page)

Nibi walk

This walk, also organized by the N’Amerind Friendship Center, is approximately 20 miles long, starting at the old Mount Elgin Residential School site and ending in the center. It starts at 7 a.m.

The public can join the “honor walkers” along the way for this one-day walk, described as “a healing journey led by Aboriginal women”.

The Nibi Parkway is approximately 20 miles long and begins at the former site of the Mount Elgin Residential School. (Facebook page of the N’Amerind Friendship Center (London))

Turtle Island Healing Walk: Connecting Our Communities on National Truth and Reconciliation Day

It’s not a walk per se, but organizer Elyssa Rose says “you will walk”. This event takes place at Dundas Place in central London from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday. According to the Facebook event page, it is “to honor and heal through connection while nurturing hope and reconciliation in our communities.”

There will be vendors, conversations, art, food and music among many other things during the three hours downtown. Adrian Chrisjohn, Chief of Oneida Nation of the Thames, will be present for the opening along with Mayor of London Ed Holder.

Dancers in jingle dresses stand at the entrance to Victoria Park in London, Ontario, ready to begin the healing walk. (Sara Jabakhanji / CBC)

Involvement of allies

Regarding how Indigenous Allies can respectfully participate in these or other events taking place on September 30, Joel Kennedy of the N’Amerind Friendship Center suggests contacting the event organizers to see if the Allied involvement is possible and how.


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