National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Courtesy of Barrie 360

This National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, explore the rich and diverse cultures, voices, experiences and stories of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. Whether you want to read, listen, watch, or try, start your learning journey today.

Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter-generational impacts of residential schools, and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”. 

The orange shirt is a symbol of the stripping away of culture, freedom and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.


September 30, Sunrise to Sunset | 25 Simcoe Street
Sunrise and Pipe Ceremony will start at approx. 6:30am

The Sacred Fire and Sharing Circle hosted by the Barrie Native Friendship Centre will mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in honour of all who have been impacted by residential schools. This event is open to everyone as a time to reflect, offer a prayer, share stories, learn, and heal together as a community as we continue to build relationships grounded in respect and reciprocity. The Fire Keeper is Mshukwad Akiwenzie and BNFC will have traditional medicines available.

The day will be welcomed with a Sunrise Ceremony and Pipe Ceremony led by Elder Jeff Monague. Throughout the day, various guests will join the circle to share their thoughts and experiences in relation to truth and reconciliation, the effects of intergenerational trauma, the resiliency and beauty of Indigenous people, and the path forward in healing together for a brighter future.


September 30, 3–6pm | 25 Simcoe Street

The community is invited to come out to learn more about the Indigenous organizations in our area hosted by Red Quills. Kids activities provided by the Barrie Public Library, including a Story Walk of The Orange Shirt Story by Phyllis Webstad,​ orange shirt flag craft station, and Every Child Matters button making.

The holistic village host drum is Mixed Tribe led by Harley Wesley of Saugeen First Nation. Harley is of Ojibwe descent, and has been drumming for twenty nine years. Mixed Tribe was formed in 2015 with singers of Ojibway and Cree descent. The group’s singers hold twenty plus years experience, and live across Turtle Island sharing sacred songs of the big drum.

September 30 | gather at 4:45pm, depart at 5pm
Departing from the Spirit Catcher, 25 Simcoe Street

Show your support, wear orange, and walk with the Indigenous community in commemoration of all who have been impacted by residential schools – hosted by Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin Primary Care Team. Starting at the Spirit Catcher, we will walk along the waterfront trail to Centennial Park and back along a path suitable for all ages. Families (and anyone interested) can take in the Story Walk of The Orange Shirt Story by Phyllis Webstad along the way. Bring the kids to the Barrie Public Library booth in advance to make their own orange shirt flag or Every Child Matters button.


The Barrie Native Friendship Centre and MacLaren Art Centre are hosting a series of educational workshops themed around truth and reconciliation during Culture Days 2022. Pre-registration required. For more information and to register, visit the MacLaren Art Centre website​

Patricia Dent

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