North Bay’s Indigenous Friendship Centre held an event today entitled “Moving Forward as One,” to commemorate the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
“It’s a day of recognition,” said Kathy Fortin, the centre’s executive director. “And it’s a day to educate the public in regard to exactly what went on, and to educate about Truth and Reconciliation.”
The centre, located at 980 Cassels Street, welcomed people from 11 this morning, and wrapped up just after two.
Hundreds of people attended all of whom were welcome to barbequed lunch, popcorn, and other treats. Dancers and singers performed traditional numbers to commemorate the day.
Fortin was “surprised” by the amount of people who came and was grateful for the large turnout.
There were also “a lot of non-indigenous people coming to the event” she said, “which is really good.”
“It means that people are wanting to learn.”
The centre also opened its doors to allow people to learn more about the many programs it offers the community, ranging from help securing employment and housing, to providing education regarding health, family, and culture.
Fortin mentioned that she’s pleased the federal government instituted the day for people to reflect on all aspects of Truth and Reconciliation.
“We’re pleased that there is a day set aside to bring this to light.”
“It’s all about education, coming together, and reconciling the things that have happened,” said Fortin.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca