Pontiac’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

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Staff of the Pontiac Home Bakery in Shawville wear their orange shirts.

Allyson Beauregard
and Gaetan Forgues

MRC PONTIAC – September 30 marked the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day, an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours survivors and victims of the residential school system as well as their families and communities.
Across the Pontiac, residents displayed and wore orange to raise awareness of the tragic legacy of residential schools. A commemorative ceremony spearheaded by the Pontiac Native Community was held at the Pontiac Anishinaabe Healing Garden in Mansfield and in Campbell’s Bay, a flag raising ceremony took place at Mural Park.
Local schools encouraged students to wear orange, with some including activities and information delivered in class to educate students about this dark part of Canadian history.
There were 140 federally-run residential schools in Canada, with the last one closed 23 years ago.