Kawartha Lakes recognizing Truth and Reconciliation Day

by The Standard | Podcast September 30th, 2021

DAN CEARN, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for the Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes is recognizing the newly created National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.


At a meeting on Tuesday, September 21st, members of council were wearing orange shirts to commemorate the upcoming day of reflection, which is being held in Canada on Thursday, September 30th.


“To mark the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, on September 30th, we gather to commemorate all the Indigenous children who were taken against their will from their families and communities and never made it home again, and [who] remain buried at Indian Residential Schools across Canada. The orange t-shirt and flag are a symbol of the Every Child Matters movement,” Mayor Andy Letham explained.


Orange Shirt Day has been held on September 30th since 2013, and recently the federal government declared that day to be the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.


“All of Canada can join in this day of remembrance and reflection. As we mark the first day of Truth and Reconciliation, we commit to implementing the calls to action, and to charting a new path forward, based on building relationships with the First Nations. The first step towards reconciliation is acknowledging the truth of the tragedy, and in walking this new path, we hope to move together towards reconciliation and a better future for all,” Mayor Letham said.


Earlier in the day, councillors took time to observe the ‘215+ Taken’ art installation at city hall, a group of painted stones created by the Truth and Reconciliation Community (TRC) Bobcaygeon group.


“It is a very moving tribute to the Indigenous little ones who were taken, and it will be on display here in Lindsay at City Hall until September 30th. The orange flag we have outside will remain lowered until then as well, as will the orange lights [which] light up the side of our building in the evening,” Mayor Letham stated.


The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a statutory holiday for federal workers, but the Ontario provincial government recently shared they would not recognize it as a statutory holiday for other residents in the province.