While Truth and Reconciliation Week 2022 is in full swing, Wednesday and Thursday day were/are dedicated to specific groups. But coming up, these are noteworthy:
1. Thursday night at the All Nations Sharing Circle at the Riverbank Discovery Centre: Canupawakpa Dakota Nation’s Noella Eagle joins us once again in our second year of Truth and Reconciliation Week in Brandon to answer the question: What is Truth and Reconciliation? Noella is a language keeper and educator. She unpacks what those words can really mean to each one of us – Indigenous and non-Indigenous.
- Friday, Sept. 30 is a big day. Noella Eagle will offer an introductory teaching on Truth and Reconciliation, followed by Dakota Knowledge Keeper Frank Tacan, who will offer a teaching on Orange Shirt Day. That’s at 10 a.m. at the All Nations Sharing Circle at the Discovery Centre.
- At 1:00 p.m., at the big tent amidst the tipis at the Riverbank, a formal event will take place prior to the Orange Shirt Day Walk. This is the agenda:
Emcee: Wakpa McKay
- Mayor Rick Chrest will offer a few words.
- Chief Jennifer Bone will unveil the honorary street signs that will be located at Grand Valley Road and 18th Street and Grand Valley Road and 34 Street (the road that leads to the site of the former Brandon Indian Residential/Industrial School) – Wokiksuye Canku (Remembrance Road in Dakota). Chief Bone will speak.
- Sioux Valley Dakota Nation’s residential school committee has offered survivors an opportunity to share with those who have gathered for the walk
The walk is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m., once we’ve seen the Elders and Survivors off on a bus that will take them to the residential school site, where they will observe the walkers who pass through the site in support.
A photo of the route is attached. If all works out as planned, the Unity Riders will meet the walkers at the base of the field (an old road that is between two fields and is walkable) and lead them up to the site. We won’t be pausing at the site, as there will be too many people. We will loop to the right and over to 34th Street, and head back to the Riverbank Discovery Centre for food.
4. Saturday, Oct 1. – Healing by the River – and evening of ceremony and performance. (Program attached.) This event begins at 5:00 p.m. at the Fusion Credit Union Stage at the Riverbank Discovery Centre. On that night we experience and celebrate Indigenous culture.
**Please note: We hope to spread the word that people should definitely bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. We are graced with excellent weather once again, but when that sun goes down … Brrrr. Bring some layers and blankets!
5. Finally, on Sunday Oct. 2, as a follow up to our 1:00 p.m. Reconciliation Panel we hold on Saturday, we will host an Economic Reconciliation Panel, with Gambler First Nation Chief David LeDoux as the Keynote Speaker. This is the agenda:
Emcee: Brandon Chamber of Commerce’s Connor Ketchen
- Introduction and preamble by Mayor Rick Chrest, broad lines from a political standpoint
- Keynote Speaker Chief David LeDoux will present the vision for the Gambler First Nation Brandon property and celebrate key economic milestones thus far
- Guest and staff speakers: 1) Heritage Co-op’s Western Nation’s Barry Cooper. Western Nations is a growing network of independent, locally owned Indigenous gas bars. 2)The City of Brandon director of Economic Development Sandy Trudel. 3) And others.
Objectives of Truth and Reconciliation Week
- To honour:
- a) the Indigenous children who never made it home;
- b) the Indigenous children who made it home but would not survive the damage done to them;
- c) the Indigenous children who made it through despite the life-long scars in and on their persons inflicted by horrifying policies made real or, worse, nightmares, by people willing to enact and abuse those policies;
- d) the Indigenous children and children’s children of the survivors who continue to live with the consequences of those policies, including what is now ingrained in Canadian systems and society; and
- e) the Indigenous families and communities, whose homes and community spaces went silent when their children were ripped from them.
- To offer immersive learning opportunities, free to all Brandon residents, steeped in Indigenous history, perspectives, and culture.
- To build stronger relationships among Brandon’s diverse population and the Indigenous people who have lived on these lands for millennia, rooted in mutual respect and understanding.
- To bring the community together in the spirit of reconciliation, based on truths of the past.