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City of Chilliwack to Honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – September 30

Chilliwack – Chilliwack City Council is committed to truth and reconciliation, and building good relationships with our Indigenous neighbours. As part of this commitment, and following the Federal Government’s lead, Council has directed that City staff observe September 30th as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

During the September 30th statutory holiday, City Hall will be closed and staff is encouraged to continue to expand their education as part of their individual reconciliation efforts. This day provides an opportunity for public commemoration of the history and lasting impact of residential schools and is an important component of the reconciliation process included in the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Chilliwack residents interested in developing a better understanding can visit the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s website, or stop in at a local library to check out books by Indigenous authors, such as “21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act” by Robert P.C. Joseph.

You may also notice something a little different about the artwork in the Vedder Road roundabout. Orange lights have been illuminated to honour survivors of residential schools, along with their families and communities. The City of Chilliwack funded the Coast Salish artwork in the roundabout which celebrates the history of the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe and Stó:lō Nation. It was designed by Stó:lō Nation president and Squiala First Nation Chief David Jimmie, in coordination with Coast Salish artist Bonny Graham, and in consultation with the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe and the Stó:lō Nation Chiefs Council.

“Council has prioritized relationship building with our Indigenous neighbours,” said Mayor Popove. “We will continue to work with local Indigenous leaders to best determine how we can support their efforts and find opportunities to learn and highlight the First Nation roots of the community.”

“Finding meaningful ways to work with one another has to start somewhere and we’ve witnessed that start in Chilliwack. It does not only mean artwork or representation but a willingness to look at the overall relationship with respect to Agreements and engagement,” said Chief Jimmie. “Chilliwack’s Mayor and Council have been open minded to have these discussions which is great in our journey forward together. Thank you to Peggy Janicki for her suggestion in having the orange lights illuminating the roundabout art in honor and recognition of the residential school survivors and their families. This is only a small part of recognition, and we have much more work to do.”

Evans Roundabout/City of Chilliwack

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