Have you got anything planned for this coming Thursday?
You know, Sept. 30.
That would be our inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
If you’re fortunate enough to get the day off work, are you using the time to catch up on chores? Maybe get a leisurely round of golf in?
Or, perhaps your idea of time off is to binge-watch whatever Netflix has on offer.
Don’t forget, however, the true meaning of the day.
Moreso, in light of the discovery of hundreds – if not thousands – of unmarked graves so far this year.
Don’t know where to begin with commemorating the true meaning behind National Day for Truth and Reconciliation?
Start by paying a visit to St. Thomas Public Library.
You don’t have to go inside.
Head over to the west exterior wall.
You can’t miss it.
The Ontario government on Tuesday (June 1) passed new legislation and made amendments to existing legislation in its Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy.
It coincided with the arrest of 59-year-old St. Thomas resident Eugene Andre Francois on human trafficking charges including sexual assault, sexual exploitation, traffic in persons under the age of 18, benefitting from trafficking and possession of child pornography.
A female had contacted St. Thomas Police to report she was a trafficking victim for several months as a minor in 2013.
Representing that victim is Kelly Franklin, recognized as this country’s leading expert in anti-human trafficking awareness and certification.
She is the founder of Courage for Freedom, a Canadian-based organization that exists to educate, train and certify front-line and community service providers on proven strategies and prevention tactics that serves vulnerable victims of human trafficking and sexually exploited girls.
Franklin is also the Executive Director of Farmtown Canada, located just east of Mapleton.
Remember, reconcile, rejoice.
The three words that prompted City Scope to embark on a field trip this week to Chippewas of the Thames First Nation for the student commemorative gathering at the site of the former Mount Elgin Indian Residential School, near Muncey.
The two-day ceremony included the unveiling of a monument to the survivors of residential schools – a sordid chapter in this country’s history that eluded the radar of most Canadians until the
creation, in 2008, of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, whose mandate is to bring to light the truth about these schools and enlighten the populace.
Opened in 1851 and operated by Wesleyan Methodists in conjunction with the Department of Indian Affairs, Mount Elgin was sold to Christian Indian leaders as an opportunity to train their children to be political leaders, teachers, missionaries and interpreters.
That may well have been the case with some students but, in fact, Mount Elgin was a not-very-subtle move to assimilate First Nations people.