City marks Indigenous Solidarity Day as Canada grapples with residential schools' legacy
City Hall and other London buildings will be lit orange in solidarity on Indigenous Solidarity Day.
June 21 is the 25th annual Indigenous Solidarity Day celebrating the heritage, diverse cultures and achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples.
While the day is meant to be a day of celebration it is also comes as the nation grapples with the discovery a burial site for 215 child victims at a Residential School in Kamloops, B.C.
Since the discovery more burial sites have been found at other schools across the nation.
Last Tuesday, Ontario announced new funding to aid in the search for more burial sites.
Locally, events are being held to mark the day but also the discovery of the burial sites and the ongoing efforts towards healing and understanding across Canada.
SUPPORT NEEDED FOR HEALING LODGE
A fundraising campaign has been launched to rebuild the Anishinaabe Round House on Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, southwest of London.
The official launch coincides with National Indigenous Peoples Day.
The Round House will be a "vibrant place of learning, healing, and growth for local communities, providing a space to gather, celebrate, and connect with land, traditional ceremonies, and one another," according to a statement from Chippewas of the Thames First Nation organizers.
Betsy Waawaaskone Kechego explains, “The name of the Round House is Nimkii Binesi Zaswaaning, and that means ‘the Thunderbird’s Nest’. The reason why we picked that name is because it’s part of Ojibwe history that it is the Thunderbirds that bring life. Every time they come there is a renewal of life. We thought that name would be perfect because when we build this lodge we are in hopes that our community and all the people that come here, whatever it is they need at that time, that renewal of life, those teachings, a good way of life, it comes for them.”
More than $10,000 has been raised so far.