Atlantic Canada observes first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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HALIFAX — The provinces of Atlantic Canada honoured the first annual National Day of Truth and Reconciliation Thursday with a series of events and programs across the region.

Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King joined Lt.-Gov. Antoinette Perry, Sen. Brian Francis and several Indigenous leaders at an event in Charlottetown. They observed two minutes of silence and lowered the Canadian and provincial flags at city hall.

King said the holiday is an important time for Islanders and all Canadians to reflect on the horrors of the residential school system and to understand the historic damage done to Indigenous Peoples.

Newfoundland and Labrador rang in the day with a series of walks and vigils across the province, organized by the Qalipu First Nation.

New Brunswick has declined to make the day an official provincial holiday, but municipalities across the province, including Moncton and Saint John, have declared the day a statutory holiday.

In Halifax, a flag-raising ceremony was scheduled to take place Thursday evening with an appearance by Shubenacadie Residential School survivor Alan Knockwood, followed by a concert featuring Indigenous performers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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