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Town raises flag for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

'While we can’t erase the past, we can all pledge to do better,' says mayor

The Town of Innisfil recently held a ceremony to acknowledge National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Members of council, representatives from MP John Brassard and MPP Andrea Khanjin’s offices, and staff from the Barrie Native Friendship Centre attended to mark this solemn occasion.

“We held this event to raise more awareness about the importance of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30,” says Mayor Lynn Dollin. “This is a reminder of the children’s lives that were lost as well as a time to honour the survivors of residential schools, their families, and their communities. While we can’t erase the past, we can all pledge to do better in the future to acknowledge Indigenous peoples, their histories, and their traditional stewardship of the lands and waterways we now call Innisfil.”

The Every Child Matters flag was raised during the ceremony, which included a smudging ceremony and a poignant speech by Samantha Kinoshameg, executive director of the Barrie Native Friendship Centre.

There are a number of ways for residents of Innisfil to acknowledge National Day for Truth and Reconciliation including:

Video screening: Phyllis Webstad’s Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day aims to spread awareness of the intergenerational impacts of the residential school system and to bring attention to the Every Child Matters movement. In honour of the 10-year mark of Orange Shirt Day, founder and third-generation residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad shares the movement’s origin story by describing what it was like to grow up in an Indigenous community and attend a residential school. A live screening will be presented on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. at the Cookstown, Stroud and Lakeshore branches of the Innisfil ideaLAB & Library.

Indigenous history that wasn’t taught in school

Join the Innisfil ideaLAB & Library for an afternoon of learning and unlearning with a thought-provoking conversation with Kelly Brownbill. The Indigenous experience has been so often omitted from mainstream education. During this eye-opening presentation, learn how colonial narratives continue to harm Indigenous communities and delve into the importance of revisiting and reshaping our understanding of history to create a more equitable and just society. To save your spot for this free event on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Lakeshore branch visit Indigenous History that Wasn’t Taught in School: A Presentation by Kelly Brownbill | Events | Innisfil Public Library (

On Sept. 30, the library will remain open as a space of learning and reflection. You will find book displays, custom reading lists, and other resources to help you on your learning journey.