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Stories, cultures to be shared with Greater Victoria residents on Sept. 30

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation events taking place across the region
A participant in one of last year’s Orange Shirt Day events. (Black Press Media file photo)

Community events on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Sept. 30) are being hosted across the region to increase awareness of the history and legacy of residential and day schools and the ’60s Scoop.

Saturday’s lineup includes:

Truth and Reconciliation Day Ride In honour of residential school survivors, the Truth and Reconciliation Day Ride returns for its third edition on Sept. 30.

The event, led by Capital Bike, is geared to be a family-friendly, easy-paced ride. This will be a parade-style event with the Victoria Police Department and the City of Victoria providing traffic support.

“The first year, we planned for 100 participants and got 350. Last year, we planned for 350 and had 500. This year, we’re ready for at least 650,” said Adam Krupper, Capital Bike executive director, in a statement. “The biggest improvement this year is the parade permit along with police closing the intersections along the route. This will make the ride easier and safer; allowing us to focus on what matters most – remembering the impact of residential schools.”

Attendees can gather at 9:15 a.m. at Songhees Park by the Delta Hotel in Vic West with Diane Sam from the Songhees Nation speaking at 9:30 a.m. The nine-kilometre ride departs at 10:30 a.m. along the Songhees Walkway, through downtown, along Dallas Road, up Vancouver Street and finishes at the South Island Powwow at approximately 11:30 a.m.

A bike valet service will be available at the powwow.

The ride is free and riders are encouraged to wear orange. For more information, go to

South Island Powwow

Everyone is welcome to attend the South Island Powwow in Victoria. The event honours and recognizes survivors of residential and day schools and the ’60s Scoop, their families and the children who never made it home.

The powwow also celebrates Indigenous cultures and resiliency and brings people together in celebration to build bridges amongst all nations.

The event, hosted by the Songhees Nation with support from Greater Victoria municipalities, takes place at Royal Athletic Park. Gates open at 10 a.m. with two grand entries at noon and 6 p.m. Colours will retire at midnight.

READ MORE: Songhees Nation hosts South Island Powwow on Orange Shirt Day

Reconcile: Candid truth from survivors With many stories left untold, the community is invited to St. Ann’s Academy, 835 Humboldt St., from 4:30 to 7 p.m. to witness the voices of survivors from residential schools and the ’60s Scoop in an event focused on hard truths and healing.

The agenda includes a screening of the acclaimed documentary We Were Children by Tim Wolochatiuk as well as Elders Patrick Stephenson and Aldeen Mason sharing their own experiences within the systems of removal.

“Come bear witness to the impact of colonial harm, displacement and what it means to reconcile in today’s world. Let us examine how this legacy shapes the environment we face today as Indigenous people, and explore the continuity of the oppressive systems that have harmed us since first contact.”

This free event is hosted by the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. Doors open at 4 p.m. Seats are limited and attendees are asked to pre-register. To register, go

There’s Blood in the Rocks: Victoria smallpox epidemic of 1862-63 Also taking place in Victoria later in the day, the Christ Church Cathedral is inviting the public to hear the perspectives of Indigenous knowledge holders on an epidemic and its continuing impact.

Attendees will view There’s Blood in the Rocks, a short film about the Victoria smallpox epidemic of 1862-63 by Marianne Nicolson, a Kwakwaka’wakw artist and activist. Snxakila Clyde Michael Tallio, a ceremonial speaker of the Nuxalk First Nation, will be one of the speakers in attendance to discuss the epidemic and the resurgence of B.C.’s First Peoples.

Guests can come together after for some light snacks and to reflect on the evening’s discussion

READ MORE: Stories about truth and reconciliation