It is the first year New Brunswick recognized the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a provincial holiday.
People gathered across the province today to honour the day and remember residential school survivors and those who didn't make it home.
A day of remembrance ceremony was held at Sitansisk First Nation. Chief Allan Polchies said when he saw the sea of orange shirts, it showed him people are becoming more aware of what has happened to Indigenous people in Canada.
"They want to continue to be a voice where that voice is needed," he said.
The event included lighting of the fire, an opening prayer, a presentation of words, songs, a continental breakfast and a take-home craft kit.
Fredericton Mayor Kate Rogers attended the day of remembrance and said it's an opportunity to remember and reflect but also a day to learn how to do better.
"As I came upon the old reserve grounds and looking out onto the Wolastoq and seeing so many orange shirts and seeing so many people from the community, I just thought, 'this is right. This is where we're meant to be today,'" said Rogers.
"It's been a powerful morning."
A prayer and smudging ceremony took place at the City Hall Plaza in Moncton today. The ceremony, led by Elder Gary Augustine, brought attendees of all ages.
Annie Clair from Elsipogtog First Nation and her granddaughter Hailey attended the ceremony.
"Today is a very special day, not only for me and my granddaughter, but everybody in the world," said Clair.
Clair said people should go to Indigenous communities and learn about the people, culture and language.
Shania Dedam of Elsipogtog First Nation said she was happy to see the turnout for the ceremony.
Before the smudging ceremony, she addressed the crowd to explain what smudging is. She said it's a purifying and cleansing ceremony that cleanses the mind of negative thoughts. It involves placing four sacred medicines — tobacco, sweet grass, sage and cedar — in a smudge bowl which is traditionally a shell.
Dedam said the medicines are lit and the smoke is what cleanses the mind. She said four elements are represented in the ceremony — water represented by the shell, earth which is represented by the medicines given by Mother Earth, fire which is used to light the medicines, and air which is represented by the smoke.
Dedam said she wants people to know "the truth about what happened to the children in the residential schools."
"To know their stories, and to know just how horrible everything was in the schools and how that effects everyone in our generation still to this day due to intergenerational trauma," said Dedam. "It's really important to understand what happened and listen to the truth."