National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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Photo of a mural on the library's west wall called All Are our Relatives by Nancy Deleary. Text: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

About National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. This day honours the memory of the Indigenous children buried on residential school grounds and honours Survivors, their families, and their communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process. September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day, a day to listen to and believe Survivors, their families, and their communities.

St. Thomas Public Library will be open on September 30, and we encourage our community to spend the day reflecting on the devastating legacy of residential schools in Canada.

The Indian Residential School Survivors Society Emergency Crisis Line is available 24/7 for anyone who may need counselling or support.

Call 1-800-721-0066

In-Person and Virtual Events

Tie A Ribbon

multicoloured ribbons hang on a black iron fence.

Tie a Ribbon

For the past two years, the St. Thomas Public Library has invited our visitors to tie ribbons in front of the library on September 30th. This gesture is made in solidarity with the Six Nations Public Library and in support of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities across Turtle Island, to honor the memory of children who were found and those yet to be discovered at residential schools in Canada.

As we recognize that children are still being discovered, this year, we have respectfully removed the ribbons, preserving them safely within our library, and will invite our community to tie new ones.

Every child matters.

We extend this invitation as a gesture of remembrance and contemplation. You can pick up a ribbon to tie inside the library or bring your own.

Additionally, please consider connecting with ‘We Are Here: Awareness & Justice for Indigenous People,’ a local Indigenous-run group dedicated to raising awareness, fostering compassion, empathy, and solidarity for Indigenous communities.

Text: Flag Raising Ceremony 12 p.m. at City Hall, St. Thomas. We Are Here - St. Thomas, Ontario Awareness & Justice for Indigenous People

Sept 30 | 12 p.m.

Flag Raising Ceremony at St. Thomas City Hall

Join together at City Hall for a Flag Raising Ceremony in honour of National Truth and Reconciliation Day.

Text: Virtual Lunch and Learns, 50 minute lunch and learn sessions, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

Sept 25 - 30 | 1:30 p.m.

Free Virtual Lunch and Learn Sessions

Featuring a range of speakers on topics related to Truth and Reconciliation, 50 minutes each.

Text: ReconcliACTION Series: Beyond NDTR

Sept 29 | 10 a.m. - Noon

ReconciliACTION Speaker Series: Beyond NDTR

From Atlohsa Family Healing Services: Register to join panelists for a powerful conversation on what it means to truly reconcile.

Text: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Gathering, Atlohsa Family Healing Services

Sept 30 | 12 - 3:30 p.m.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Gathering

Join Atlohsa Family Healing Services at the Western Fair District Agriplex for an honour dance, prayer, guest speakers, educational booths, and more.

Text: Remembering Our Children Live From Parliament Hill. APTN + National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

Sept 30 | 12:30 p.m.

LIVE Broadcast from Parliament Hill: Remembering the Children

Remembering the Children is a multilingual event that will honour residential school survivors, their families, communities, and all the children who never made it home.

Text: The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund Events + Webinars

Various Dates

The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund

In-person events and virtual webinars to learn about Truth and Reconciliation.

“All Are My Relatives” by Nancy Deleary

Photo by Andrew Gunn.

Mural: “All Are My Relatives” by Nancy Deleary

St. Thomas Public Library is honoured to host a remarkable new mural by Nancy Deleary, an accomplished artist and also a Cultural Coordinator at Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. Located above the outdoor reading garden at the St. Thomas Public Library, the artwork highlights the importance of storytelling, and will captivate the next generation of children who gather to read books and listen to speakers in the outdoor reading garden. 

Artist Statement by Nancy Deleary

“I grew up not knowing anything about who I am as a member of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. I could not speak my original language; I did not know what Chippewas did, and I had heard no stories about where we came from and what we had done.

This situation we were and still are in for many of us, was designed to be this way.

A thousand years ago my ancestors prophesized that there was going to be a force that would come to this land and disrupt their way of life.  A great migration of the Anishinaabeg […] began that saw many people leave their ancestral lands and travel west to settle around the Great Lakes and beyond to safeguard themselves. The language, knowledges and ceremonies were hidden and only recently have been surfaced to reteach those of us who were forced to forget.

There is currently a movement throughout the First Nations and Native American people of this continent to revitalize and reclaim who we are.

We have been told to share our knowledges, for it is our perspective that will aid in the situation our earth is in now. The detrimental effects of climate change are set in motion and decisions need to be made to secure life for the future.

We are now remembering, and we are now speaking.”

Part of the Track to the Future mural project generously funded by The Estate of Donna Vera Evans Bushell.

Regional Indigenous Communities

Oneida Language & Cultural Centre

Learn more about Oneida culture, history, traditions, and language through the amazing resource provided by the Oneida Language and Cultural Centre. 

Chippewas of the Thames First Nation

Learn about the history and treaty rights of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. There is also information about Mount Elgin Industrial Institute, Native Women’s Trail of Tears Barn Quilt Trail, and more.

Delaware Nation

Learn the incredible history of the Delaware Nation with this comprehensive resource.