Truth and Reconciliation Today

September 30th 2022 Orange Shirt Day Event

Drop in from 5pm – 7pm Ayr Curling Club

210 Northumberland Street

to acknowledge the  National Day of Remembrance for  Truth and Reconciliation and participate in :- 


Join us for a free cultural awareness event: • Listen to Indigenous stories around the campfire  (bring your lawn chair or blanket) • Enjoy a taste of Three Sisters soup • Make a beaded craft 

We encourage you to wear an orange shirt.

Woodland Cultural Center virtual tour of Mohawk Institute Residential School Feb 9th 2022

In place of the regular Wednesday Mid week Fellowship CrossWalk has registered for this virtual tour from 7pm – 8.30 pm on February 9th. All are welcome to register using this link. The cost is $10 which is a donation to the save the evidence fund.

Plans are also being made for the 2022 Orange Shirt Day celebration on Friday September 30th in Ayr. If you would like to join this planning group send an email with the subject Orange Shirt Day.

First Orange Shirt Day 2021 in Ayr

Start of the walk and conversation about the Mohawk Institute residential school, Brantford 1885-1970

Many thanks to those who were able to attend a walk around the pond in downtown Ayr. 24 people of all different ages attended and six dogs! Reflective words , a song Lost Souls by Tom Jackson and a minute of silence for the 48 children on record to have known to have died at the Mohawk School were a part of the program. The final prayer was from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, prayer for repentance and solidarity with Indigenous Peoples.

Orange Shirt Day September 30th

Every year on September 30th, people across Canada wear orange and participate in Orange Shirt Day events to recognize and raise awareness about the history and legacies of the residential school system in Canada. Orange Shirt Day originates from the story of Phyllis Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. In 1973, on her first day at St. Joseph’s Residential School in Williams Lake, BC, Phyllis’s shiny new orange shirt was stripped from her, never to be seen again.

40 years later, on September 30th, 2013, Phyllis spoke publicly for the first time about her experience, and thus began the Orange Shirt Day movement.

The Canadian government designated September 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, beginning in 2021. This responds to Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 80, which states that the federal government will work with Indigenous people to establish a statutory day to “honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process”.

CrossWalk is a new Christian community and like many Canadians we have been devastated by the increasing knowledge of the harms done by residential schools. We wish to learn more about the Indigenous heritage of Canada and are making plans to start this journey in September 2021 . Using various tools, book studies, movies, speakers you are invited to join in. This page will be updated with information as it becomes available.

Land Acknowledgement

In Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Brantford we are on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples.

  • Anishnawbe peoples: Also known as Ojibway/Chippewa/Mississauga/Algonquin, their original ancestral home was located on the north shore of Lake Huron, at the mouth of the Mississagi River. During the 17th century, the Anishnawbe split, with groups migrating east to the Bay of Quinte and South into what is now known as south-western Ontario (from Toronto to Lake Erie). During the 18th century, the Anishnawbe began losing land due to European settlement and the northern movement of the Haudenosaunee into south-western Ontario. Today, Anishnawbe in south-western Ontario include the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Aamjiwnaang, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, and the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point.
  • Haudenosaunee peoples: Also known as Six Nations and Iroquois, are various nations that formed what is known as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. It originally consisted of five Nations: Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk, and Seneca, but in 1722, the Tuscarora joined to form the Six Nations. The Haudenosaunee reside in parts of Ontario and Upstate New York. The largest reserve in North America is the Six Nations of the Grand River, located near Branford, Ontario. Other communities where Haudenosaunee reside include Tyendinaga, Awkwesasne, and Oneida Nation of the Thames, to name a few.
  • Neutral peoples: Called the Neutrals due to their tendency to avoid conflict, and “Attawandaron” by the Hurons. They are made up of many distinct nations. They were decimated by colonial diseases during early colonization and any remaining members were mostly adopted into the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.

Kitchener-Waterloo and Brantford are both located on the Haldimand Tract, which, on October 25, 1784, after the American Revolutionary War of Independence, was given to the Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation by the British as compensation for their role in the war and for the loss of their traditional lands in Upstate New York ( Of the 950,000 acres given to the Haudenosaunee (six miles on either side of the Grand River, all the way along its length), only 46,000 acres (less than 5 per cent) remain Six Nations land and 6,100 acres remain Mississaugas of the Credit land.

  • A land acknowledgment is not something you “just do” before an event. Rather it is a reflection process in which you build mindfulness and intention walking into whatever gathering you are having. It should be rooted in the whose land you are honoured to stand on and should guide how you move forward in both conversations and actions.


Although it is important to acknowledge the land, it is only a first step. We are all treaty signers, and are thus responsible and accountable for the violence that Indigenous people face. Allyship is a continuous process; it is not a designation that one can earn and hold forever. It is also not a label one can give themselves, but one you earn from your actions and commitment to standing in solidarity.

Allies must continually engage in self-reflection, and must consistently work at being an ally (through learning, acting in a de-colonial manner, and sustaining relationships with Indigenous Peoples, etc.) 

LAURIER STUDENTS’ PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH GROUP wrote the above information in an article Know The Land.

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