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Marking the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation: Must-Attend Events in Calgary & Medicine Hat

Alisha Ostbergaboriginal, Blog, events, human rights

Medicine Hat Events

Medicine Hat College National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Saturday, September 30th | 2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. | Medicine Hat College (299 College Dr SE Medicine Hat, AB T1A 3Y6)

Medicine Hat College, in collaboration with Miywasin Friendship Centre and the Firekeepers Women’s Society, is hosting its second annual community event on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to acknowledge the historical and ongoing impact of residential schools on Indigenous peoples in Canada. The event, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 30, at the Medicine Hat campus, will feature a reconciliation walk, Indigenous Elder-led story sharing, a blanket ceremony, an honour song, and a round dance. Attendees are encouraged to wear orange shirts in solidarity with Orange Shirt Day and bring lawn chairs. The event is open to the public, with free parking and accessible restrooms

Calgary Events

Orange Shirt Awareness Pin Workshop

Wednesday, September 27, 2023 | 6:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. | Sparrow Artspace (36 4 Street Northeast Calgary, AB, T2E 3R7)

Dorvina Pearline White Quills, known as Pearl White Quills, is the skilled owner and founder of Bright Swan Creations. This artistic journey began with beadwork in 2008 and has evolved to encompass various Indigenous art forms, including ribbon skirts and drum bags. She passionately passes on her teachings to her children and others with a mission to empower First Nations through spirituality-based artistry. Pearl’s journey in artistry started at a young age, learning intricate beading techniques and evolving into a multifaceted artist, inspiring healing and unity. This workshop is part of the Honouring the Children Exhibition & Workshops organized by the CIF Reconciliation Society.

Cadmus Delorme Presentation Event: What We Inherited and Better Understanding Our Role in Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action

Friday, September 29th 2023 | 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, Rozsa Centre (206 University Ct NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4V8)

Dr. Shawna Cunningham, EdD, acting vice-provost (Indigenous Engagement), will host an event featuring special remarks from UCalgary President Ed McCauley and Calgary Public Library CEO Sarah Meilleur, with Piikani Elder Reg Crowshoe, Hon. LLD’01, opening and closing the event. The event will also highlight the achievements of Cadmus Delorme, a Cree and Saulteaux leader from Cowessess First Nation, who graduated from Cowessess Community Education Centre, pursued higher education, received prestigious medals, and became Chief at a young age. Under his leadership, Cowessess First Nation focused on economic self-sustainability, political sovereignty, and child welfare reform, making significant strides in these areas.

Film Screening of Beans

Friday, September 29th, 2023 | 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Central Library (800 3 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2E7)

Join the Central Library for a free screening of the film “Beans,” directed by Tracey Deer, featuring special remarks from Calgary Public Library CEO Sarah Meilleur and UCalgary’s Dr. Shawna Cunningham, EdD, acting vice-provost (Indigenous Engagement). After the screening, there will be a discussion with director Tracey Deer, Kelli-Morning Bull, Indigenous Services Design Lead at Calgary Public Library, and Autumn Eaglespeaker. “Beans” is a coming-of-age story based on true events, following a Mohawk girl during the Oka Crisis in 1990. The film received critical acclaim, premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2020 and winning awards at TIFF and Berlinale.

Pokaiks: The Children Commemorative Walk 

Saturday, September 30th, 2023 | 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | City Hall (800 Macleod Trail SE, Calgary, AB T2G 5E6)

Join your community on September 30th for Pokaiks – The Children Commemorative Walk and Gathering 2023, a significant Orange Shirt Day Event that pays tribute to survivors of the Residential School System and Sixties Scoop. The walk, starting at 11 a.m. from City Hall and ending at Shaw Millennium Park, will be followed by Indigenous performances, community booths, food, and more to promote reconciliation. Don’t miss this opportunity to honour our past and work towards a better future.

Truth and Reconciliation Mini Powwow

Saturday, September 30th, 2023 | 1:00 p.m. | Bob Bahan Aquatic & Fitness Centre (4812 14th Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2A 0K9)

It’s the third annual Mini Pow Wow for National Truth and Reconciliation Day, and it’s a great way to show up and support our local Indigenous community. The main event is the dancers, but there is so much more to see, including fun activities like bouncy castles, face painting, and food trucks.

Orange Shirt Day 2023

Saturday, September 30th, 2023 | 9 a.m. | Fort Calgary (750 9 Ave. S.E. Calgary, AB T2G 5E1)

Join us in solemn remembrance of the victims of Indian residential schools, an institution that forcibly separated Indigenous children from their families for over a century to assimilate them into European and Christian culture. This event aims to pay tribute to survivors and their families and reaffirm our commitment to reconciliation. We encourage everyone to wear orange as a symbol of support and in honour of the children who did not make it home from these schools scattered across the country.

Indigenous Showcase & Market

Saturday, September 30th, 2023 | 12:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. | Jack Singer Concert Hall Lobby (225 8 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0K9)

Discover a fresh and vibrant arts market experience at the Indigenous Makers Market, thoughtfully curated by Four Winds YYC. This event celebrates Indigenous art and culture, showcasing the works of talented artists and artisans from Treaty 7 and beyond. In the Jack Singer Concert Hall lobby, this market is a tribute to National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and is open to the public for free from noon to 6:30 p.m. Stay tuned as the curation unfolds, and be sure to bookmark this page to explore the diverse talents on display. The Indigenous Makers Market is brought to you by Arts Commons in partnership with the Elders Knowledge Circle Society.

Telus Spark Orange Shirt Day

Saturday, September 30th 2023 | 10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.

Participate in Orange Shirt Day at Telus Spark. #PhyllisWebstad is the Founder and Ambassador of the Orange Shirt Society. It grew out of Phyllis’ story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission residential school, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. Read and learn about the history of residential schools, donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS hotline, 1-800-721-0066) and attend an Orange Shirt Day event in your area. Celebrate the strength and resilience of Indigenous people every day.

Speak Up! Panel with Fawn Wood, Eekwol, and Shane Ghostkeeper, hosted by David McLeod

Saturday, September 30th 2023 | 1:00 P.M. | Studio Bell (850 4 St. SE, Calgary, AB T2G 1R1)

Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre (NMC), is offering free admission on September 30 for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. They will discuss music’s role in reconciliation, led by David McLeod, curator of the Speak Up! exhibition recognizing Indigenous musicians. The panel includes Cree artist Fawn Wood, JUNO Award winner; néhiyaw rapper and activist Eekwol; and Métis artist Shane Ghostkeeper, founder of Ghostkeeper band. Each artist will perform a song. The updated Speak Up! exhibition showcases Indigenous culture through music, featuring artists like Tom Jackson, Elisapie, Ferron, and Drezus, fostering dialogue and understanding about Indigenous peoples in Canada.

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