🧡 Join the Rally around Reconciliation on September 30th 🧡

First Voice today is calling on all residents of the St. John’s metro area to mark Orange Shirt Day by standing in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples at a planned Rally for Reconciliation.

The family-friendly event will take place at the Colonial Building in St. John’s on Saturday, September 30, 2023, beginning at 2:45pm.


What to Expect

🎤 Powerful Speakers & Performers:  Expect thought-provoking insights from our speakers and touching performances from our artists throughout the event.

📖 Educational Insights: Dive deep into the significance of National Day for Truth & Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day) and the broader context of reconciliation.

🌱 Actionable Steps: Discover practical ways to contribute to reconciliation efforts through the First Voice 42 Calls for Change.

📜 Reflections on Reconciliation Wall: Take a moment to think about your own journey toward reconciliation. Write your personal commitment & why you wear orange on our Reflections on Reconciliation wall, then share using #whyiwearorange.

🔥 Healing Fire: Join us at a healing fire to offer your prayers, intentions, and tobacco as a sign of respect for those affected by the residential school system.

Why it Matters:

  • Raising Awareness: Our goal is to raise awareness about reconciliation and Indigenous issues among non-Indigenous individuals and allies. By participating, you become part of a movement that seeks to promote understanding and expose systemic issues.
  • Amplify Voices: We’re amplifying the voices of the urban Indigenous population, ensuring that their concerns are heard and understood by a broader audience.
  • Support & Action: It provides a platform for non-Indigenous individuals and allies to actively demonstrate their support for the Indigenous community. Here, you don’t just wear an orange shirt; you’re encouraged and welcomed to take tangible actions that can make a difference.
  • Unity, Solidarity & Collective Power: The Rally around Reconciliation fosters a profound sense of unity and solidarity among attendees, sending a powerful message that people from diverse backgrounds are standing together to support the Indigenous community and Calls for Change. Together, we leverage our collective power and voices to effect meaningful change, address systemic issues, and advocate for reform.
  • Shared Responsibility: The responsibility of reconciliation does not solely rest on the Indigenous community. This event encourages all attendees, especially non-Indigenous individuals and allies, to proactively educate themselves and take action. Recognize, activate, and educate those who stand in solidarity, and call out those who aren’t.
  • Message to Decision Makers: We are sending a message to leaders and decision makers, both present and absent, that concrete actions are required, not empty words.

Join us on September 30th for an inspiring event that blends action and education. As we gather on this significant day, let’s remember that our work doesn’t culminate here. Instead, it serves as the initial step in our continuous mission to drive change and uphold reconciliation as a shared responsibility.

We look forward to seeing you in orange on September 30th! 🧡


Looking for more information?


Orange Shirt Day began in 2013 as a grassroots campaign in Williams Lake, British Columbia, to promote public awareness about the ongoing legacy of harm from residential schools in Canada. Since then, it has become a national movement to honour survivors of residential schools and those who never made it home to their families. Fulfilling Call to Action 80 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the federal government officially recognized September 30, 2021, as the first annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

“The Rally for Reconciliation is an opportunity for the public to show support for survivors and their families, and to learn more about our 42 Calls for Change to advance truth and reconciliation right here in St. John’s.”—STACEY HOWSE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FIRST LIGHT ST. JOHN’S FRIENDSHIP CENTRE

“In previous years we’ve seen a groundswell of support for the urban Indigenous community around September 30th,” said Stacey Howse, Executive Director of First Light Friendship Centre, which is the Lead Partner in First Voice. “People often feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done to reconcile with the dark – and ongoing – legacy of residential schools. They may not know where to start,” she continued. “The Rally for Reconciliation is an opportunity for the public to show support for survivors and their families, and to learn more about our 42 Calls for Change to advance truth and reconciliation right here in St. John’s.”

First Light and First Voice are also encouraging members of the public to use the hashtag #whyiwearorange on social media and to visit whyiwearorange.ca to learn more about how they can honour and support residential school survivors.

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Start Date

Sep 30, 2023 - 14:45

Location

The Colonial Building


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