The annual Orange Shirt Walk, tea and bannock and a guest speaker recounting life in the residential school system is how the Timmins Native Friendship Centre will mark Truth and Reconciliation Day on Thursday.
Centre executive director Mickayla Bird says her membership has always marked it as Orange Shirt Day.
“To speak more on what Orange Shirt Day means to us is acknowledging and recognizing the individuals (who) would now be seniors and elders or residential schools, so our residential school survivors,” she explains.
Bird says the discovery of hundreds of graves near residential schools this summer acknowledges and confirms what so many people already knew. She is convinced that there will be graves found near schools in Northern Ontario.
“I think that’s something that we need to start preparing ourselves for, for Northern Ontario,” she says, “and how are we as a community going to help support and learn from each other and provide that opportunity for individuals to heal.”