Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, has been proclaimed National Truth and Reconciliation Day in the Town of Amherst.
“National Truth and Reconciliation Day is a solemn, important day that also provides hope for the future,” Mayor David Kogon said on Thursday Sept. 29, 2022, as he signed the proclamation on behalf of the Amherst town council.
“It is a solemn occasion because we are honouring the First Nations, Inuit and Metis children who lost their lives attending this country’s many residential schools as well as those who survived those schools.
“It is an important day because by participating in it we ensure the tragic history and ongoing legacy of those residential schools will never be forgotten. It also provides hope for the future because by remembering, we are participating in an important component of the reconciliation process, a process the Town of Amherst wholeheartedly believes in.”
In addition to the proclamation, the town will also be raising the Every Child Matters flag and the Mi’kmaq Grand Council flag during a ceremony that will be held at 9 a.m. on Sept. 30 at the flag poles in front of the YMCA. The Every Child Matters flag will fly throughout Truth and Reconciliation Day. The Mi’kmaq Grand Council flag will now fly in perpetuity.
The flag raisings, the reading of the Mi’kmaw Territorial Acknowledgement before each council meeting, annually celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day in June and the establishment of the town’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee are just some examples of how the town is committed to the reconciliation process, Kogon said.
“The Amherst town council believes every citizen, regardless of race, sexual orientation, physical or mental capabilities or religion, must be able to participate fully and equitably in our community if we are to truly have a healthy, prosperous, inclusive and environmentally sustainable town in which people of all ages, abilities and cultures are proud to live, work and play in,” the mayor said.
“On Sept. 30, I encourage all citizens to take the time to have important discussions about Canada’s residential schools and to reflect on how all of us can come together in harmony in order to build a community, a province, a nation that is fair, equitable and inclusive.