Wahgoshig First Nation flag permanently raised in Matheson

·2 min read

The Wahgoshig First Nation flag is permanently flying at the township office in Black River-Matheson.

The flag was raised during a ceremony held Sept. 30.

Chief June Black said it was a significant occasion.

“It’s so exciting, we just all want to be there and see it go up,” Black said in an interview before the ceremony. “May other municipalities follow our example. May other First Nations get that opportunity.”

The two communities, Matheson and Wahgoshig, are establishing a "very good" working relationship, Black said.

She said she’s been working with Mayor Gilles Laderoute “side by side” on other events such as welcoming the Walk of Sorrow group to Matheson.

“I’ll be attending his council meetings. I’m inviting his council out to our First Nation in the future,” she said. “This is all about reconciliation. We want to begin the process between the two communities.”

On Orange Shirt Day, Black called people to remember Phyllis Webstad, a six-year-old girl whose orange shirt was taken away on her first day at a St. Joseph's Mission residential school in B.C.

Laderoute said over 200 people showed up at the event. The preparations started about two months ago, with council later approving the resolution to permanently raise the flag.

The mayor said it was an important event for people today and for future generations.

"It was a great moment of unity that happened between Black-River Matheson and Wahgoshig First Nation," Laderoute said. "Chief June Black was very dynamic sharing the history of our people and showing how united we can be in the years to come."

To learn more about the 94 calls to action, the township encourages people to visit the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada website.

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com

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