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Oak Bay community members are invited to join us to honour Residential School survivors, their families and especially those children who never came home. Join us in showing our solidarity and support and commitment to the work of truth and reconciliation.

In November 2015, the citizens of Oak Bay first gathered at the newly-raised Sno'uyutth Welcome Pole in front of Oak Bay High School as a sign of reconciliation and respect among the settler community for the First Nations who have stewarded this land for thousands of years. The days since have seen the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report and Calls to Action, progress in some areas and much less or none in many many others, and most recently the renewed awareness among non-indigenous Canadians of the terrible legacy of the Indian Residential Schools.

This day, Orange Shirt Day and now also the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we gather to remember this legacy, and to re-commit ourselves to our ongoing work of learning and action. Present will be members of the Songhees Nation to bear witness to our commitment, and to share their wisdom.

An event organized by ReconciliACTION Oak Bay [website under development], a collaboration of Oak Bay-based organizations committed to building community to community relationships with the Songhees and Esquimalt peoples and taking concrete action to build a just future together.

Founding members are the Community Association of Oak Bay, Oak Bay United Church and St. Mary’s Anglican Church, with other organizations expected to come on board in the near future in a growing network of collaborators.

[image credit: Gordon Lee]