Media Release: Town of Smiths Falls to host a Community Walk in recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 28, 2022

Town of Smiths Falls to host a Community Walk in recognition of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

On September 19, 2022, Mayor Shawn Pankow of the Town of Smiths Falls proclaimed September 30th as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day) in Smiths Falls.

In acknowledgement of this, the Town of Smiths Falls water tower was illuminated orange on September 26th and will remain so until September 30th, the ‘Every Child Matters’ flag has been raised at Lower Reach Park for this period and the Town will host a Community Sunset Ceremony on September 30th.

“We acknowledge the traumatic history that Indigenous people in our nation have suffered and as Canadians, we all have a moral responsibility to enhance our understanding and our commitment to reconciliation,” said Mayor Shawn Pankow. “In Smiths Falls, we look forward to continuing to work together to recognize the struggles of Indigenous people and the necessary actions towards reconciliation”.

Members of the community and guests are invited to gather at Centennial Park on Friday, September 30, 2022 at 6:15 p.m. for the Community walk to Duck Island. Tim Bisaillon, member of the Smiths Falls Anti Racism and Discrimination Task Force and Betty Lou Kempt of the Métis Nation will lead the procession with Indigenous drumming. Once at Duck Island, opening remarks and Land Acknowledgement will be made by Mayor Shawn Pankow followed by words from Tim Bisaillon related to his own experiences as a descendent of residential school survivors and the guest speaker Michael Desautels.

Michael Desautels recently retired as the Indigenous Rights Advisor for the Public Service Alliance of Canada where he was responsible for the development and maintenance of the Indigenous program. Michael is Métis with Ojibway heritage and hails from Red River.

Smiths Falls’ own Flora Riley will close the ceremony with a performance of her newly recorded song “Our Indigenous Children”.

Everyone is welcome to show support for the Indigenous community in Smiths Falls and all over Canada. Glow sticks will be handed out to illuminate the walk.

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Media Contact
Julia Crowder
Economic Development & Tourism Manager
Town of Smiths Falls
613-283-4124 ext. 6101
jcrowder@smithsfalls.ca