FROM THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
June 15, 2022
National Indigenous History Month – An Invitation
June is National Indigenous History Month which brings many opportunities for us to recognize and learn about the rich heritage and resilience of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples across Canada and in our own community. Honouring the culture and histories of Indigenous Peoples not only broadens our human story, but also ensures we remember a complete history of our community, our county and all of Canada’s Peoples.
Last year, we experienced a heartbreaking and sobering prelude to National Indigenous History Month: the discovery of a mass grave at a Kamloops residential school where the remains of 215 children were found. In the following months, that number rose steadily. To date, The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in Winnipeg, which holds the records gathered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, has documented 4,118 children who died at residential schools.
Something I am doing to mark National Indigenous History Month, is attending the Indigenous Food & Craft Fair and the Buskers for Survivors Concert this Saturday at Almonte United Church. All funds raised are going to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. While it is important to remember those Indigenous children who never came home, it is equally important to support the survivors. They, their families, and communities continue to bear witness to this dark period and live with the intergenerational effects from residential schools. I’m looking forward to attending both events and learning about traditional foods, dance and enjoying great music with new friends. Please join me!
These events are presented by Mississippi Mills All My Relations, a local group of residents who are committed to rebuilding friendship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples. Métis leader Tony Belcourt OC, LLD (Hon) is the concert organizer. Mr. Belcourt was the founding president of both the Native Council of Canada and the Métis Nation of Ontario, and is an active member of the Mississippi Mills community.
The Food & Craft Fair is on from 1pm – 6pm and features traditional Indigenous food, vendors, and a traditional Hoop Dance demonstration. The Buskers for Survivors Concert will bring together Indigenous and Non-Indigenous musicians and recording artist, singer/songwriters across folk and roots-rock genres.
I invite you to join me for these very special events! Tickets for the concert can still be purchased here: https://allmyrelations.ticketsplease.ca/product/buskers-for-survivors-revisited/. More information on both events is available by visiting the Mississippi Mills All My Relations website: https://www.mmallmyrelations.ca/events/
We can all take steps to raise our understanding about colonization and its ongoing effects. We can take steps to rebuild and renew relationships that may have been forgotten. We can take steps to learn more about the profound history and diversity of Indigenous Peoples.
Thank you to Mississippi Mills All My Relations and to Mr. Tony Belcourt for your leadership and for presenting what is sure to be outstanding events during National Indigenous History Month.
Mayor Christa Lowry
Municipality of Mississippi Mills