Three First Nations in northern Ontario are taking part in a daylong event Saturday to honour victims of residential schools.
Called 'Nojomowinaan Ginishnaabewinanig ~ Healing Our People,' the event will take place at the Spanish River Marina, the sit Site of the former Spanish River Residential School.
"The leadership of Sagamok Anishnawbek, Serpent River and Mississauga First Nations invite you to this one-day event to remember our young children who perished during the residential school era," said a social media post announcing the vent.
Elder Richard Assinewa will lead ceremonies, which begin at 6:30 a.m. with a sunrise ceremony "to start a day of healing circles and ceremonies," the post said.
"Sweatlodge will be available throughout the day for those who wish to attend. There will be support in place to help those who wish to seek extra help."
COVID-19 protocols will be in place for everyone's safety, organizers said, and attendees are encourage to bring their own lawn chairs.
"If you have sacred items, please bring them for the talking/Healing Circles," the post said. "Breakfast, lunch and supper is being provided for up to 100 people."
No registration required.
Schedule of events:
- 6:30 a.m.: Sunrise ceremony, Sharing Circle. Sacred Fire to run all day for tobacco offerings led by Richard Assinewea.
- 8 a.m.: Breakfast.
- 9 a.m.: Sweatlodge on site for those who wish to attend mixed sweat led by Richard Assinewea.
- 9 a.m.: Sharing circle with leadership discussing, 'Children of residential school and what can be done to heal our Anishnawbek Nation.'
- 10:30 a.m.: Break—healthy snack.
- 11 a.m.: Continuation of sharing circle with leadership.
- Noon: Feast. Each chief of the respective communities will do food offering on behalf of all the children and communities.
- 1 p.m.: Sweatlodge. Mixed sweat led by Wayne Southwind.
- 1 p.m.: Healing circle.
- 2:30 p.m.: Break—healthy snack.
- 4:30 p.m.: Closing remarks by leadership for the day.
- 4:30 p.m.: Helpers sweat done by Leroy Bennett.
- 5 p.m.: End of the day Supper.