Town of St. Marys to commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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Education and understanding key to marking first-ever national day on September 30

The Town of St. Marys will commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with activities to promote healing and education in the community.

“The Town of St Marys is committed to education and reconciliation on indigenous issues,” says Mayor Al Strathdee. “We will continue to promote education and events that allow us to heal as a community and better take into consideration Indigenous efforts and opinions in our activities moving forward.”

September 30 will begin with the raising of a unique orange flag at all five municipal facilities. The flag, which includes the words “Every Child Matters” was designed by Jeffrey “Red” George, an Ojibway artist who grew up on the lands of the First Nation of Kettle and Stoney Point. The design is also being used on a t-shirt that all municipal employees will be encouraged to wear on the Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The community at large is also invited to wear orange to honour the memory of Indigenous children who suffered in the residential school system.

From 7:30 a.m. to approximately 5:00 p.m., a sacred fire will burn at the north end of Milt Dunnell Field. A Sacred Fire is lit to honour Creation, to give thanks and to offer an opportunity for personal reflection. The fire will be tended by local indigenous educator Patsy Anne Day and is free for anyone to participate in at any point.

Any community members who would like to assist in tending the fire are asked to contact Events Coordinator Andrea Macko at 519-284-2340, ext. 249 or Please note that all volunteers must adhere to the Town of St. Marys’ Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.

During the fire, everyone is invited to add their handprint, in paint, to a large drop cloth as a sign of cultural solidarity between Indigenous peoples and Canadian settlers. There will also be a variety of local and handmade Indigenous crafts available by donation to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

At 4:00 p.m. at Milt Dunnell Field, volunteers are planning a family art activity, in conjunction with the St. Marys Public Library and Indigenous author S.P. Joseph Lyons, an Anishinaabe Algonquin children's author; fantasy, Sci-Fi, Romance novelist, speaker, and Indigenous education advocate. Details will be announced soon.

In addition to offering Indigenous resources on its social media, the Library will unveil a new “story walk”, suitable for all ages, in Cenotaph Park beside Town Hall on September 29. The featured book is The Seven Grandfather Teachings, which are morals and principles for all nations of Turtle Island, a name used by many Indigenous peoples for North America.

“We are grateful for the input of many individuals who have helped us begin to understand our past and to commit to a better feature,” Strathdee says. “We are especially grateful for guidance and teachings from Patsy Anne Day who is helping us on this journey.”

Be sure to follow the Town of St. Marys on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information and updates.


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For media inquiries:
Andrea Macko, Events Coordinator
519-284-2340, ext. 249 |