A flag-raising, a walk and a hockey game are all planned for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Friday on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.
The day – which became official only last year as a way to acknowledge the legacy of the Canadian First Nations residential school system – will begin at White Rock City Hall, with a Semiahmoo First Nation flag-raising from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m.
In the afternoon, a Walk for Truth and Reconciliation will be held from 1-4 p.m., beginning at the Grand Chief Bernard Robert Charles Memorial Plaza and proceeding to the Spirit Park stage, for speeches and other activities.
Later in the evening, the Surrey Eagles and Chilliwack Chiefs will play a BC Hockey League game at South Surrey Arena; both teams will wear special jerseys – as will members of the Semiahmoo Ravens’ minor hockey program – that feature a hand-drawn raven created by SFN artist Roxanne Charles. The jerseys will be auctioned off, with proceeds supporting residential school survivors.
A day later, on Saturday, the White Rock Whalers will play a junior ‘B’ hockey game at Centennial Arena while also wearing the Truth and Reconciliation-themed jerseys. Those jerseys will also be part of the auction, which can be viewed online at semiahmooravens.ca
As well, until Oct. 2, the White Rock Museum (14970 Marine Dr.) will host an exhibit – Che’ Semiahmah-Sen, Che’ Shesh Whe Weleq-sen Si’am (I am Semiahmoo, I am Survivor of the Flood) – that has been curated by members of the Semiahmoo First Nation.
Orange T-shirts featuring Semiahmoo First Nation artwork are also for sale at the White Rock Community Centre (15154 Russell Ave.) this week, and shirts will also be available for purchase at Semiahmoo Park on Friday.
Last year’s inaugural Walk for Truth and Reconciliation drew thousands to the White Rock waterfront, after SFN Chief Harley Chappell said ahead of the event he hope to see an “orange sea” of support.
The crowd was much larger than organizers expected, with Chappell telling participants that he was “shaking in my heart.”
“Seeing you here today – driving down the road and seeing all these orange shirts coming here, feeling the love and support,” he said.