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Truth and Reconciliation week is a chance to learn and reflect says Loyalist president

Photo Courtesy of Loyalist College Official Facebook Page

By Charlotte Oduol [1]

BELLEVILLE- Loyalist College will be hosting a Truth and Reconciliation week from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1.

Thursday, Sept. 30 is Truth and Reconciliation Day, dedicated to remembering the lives lost, and honour survivors of the residential schools, their families and communities all over Canada. 

Ann Marie Vaughan President, CEO of Loyalist College believes honouring this event on not just one day but the entire week is an important thing for the college to do, not just this year but in years to come. 

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Vaughan spoke to Qnet News reporter Rhythm Rathi on Thursday morning, about the scheduled activities in the college. She said these activities will not just be focused on raising awareness but also on trying to help and provide a safe space for Indigenous employees, and students who may continue to feel trauma as a result of Canada’s Indian residential schools system.

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Paul Latchford, manager of Indigenous Services at the college, said they are looking forward to sharing strategies, events and activities all through the week, that people can take part in. He says it’s an opportunity to be inclusive. 

“So far the general public wants to participate. We’ve gotten really good support, lots of feedback and people want to know how can I help, or how can I be part of this and that, so that’s empowering. I think it’s empowering for people too because they want to do the right thing,” said Latchford.

Latchford details how the week will start.

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Thursday is the official Orange Shirt Day and the college will be selling orange shirts, making tobacco ties and orange ribbons. The library will also have little cut-out shirts put out in the hall where students and the rest of the college can write their thoughts or memories and hang them up in the halls.

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Other activities on campus throughout the week will include smudging ceremonies, films, including one by an elder from the Onondaga community in New York state which will be followed by a question and answer session. 

More details on the Truth and Reconciliation week schedule of events can be found here [6].

With files from Rhythm Rathi.