Indigenous Tourism Ontario announces Weekend for Truth and Reconciliation event in Sault Ste. Marie this fall


AUNDECK OMNI-KANING (September 12, 2022) – ITO presents an impactful, educational, commemorative, and fun-filled weekend event in Sault Ste. Marie for the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) is honored to present the first Weekend for Truth and Reconciliation in Baawaating (Sault Ste. Marie), in the Robinson-Huron Treaty territory on the traditional lands of the Anishnaabeg. This two-day event presented by TD starts with a day of Commemoration on September 30, followed by a day of Celebration with a free, family-oriented showcase of Indigenous arts, culture, and heritage.

Event Program

September 30, 2022: The first of the two-day event will be a Commemoration Day focused on the resiliency of Indigenous peoples, learning about the impact of the Indian Residential School system on Indigenous communities, and gaining actionable tools for reconciliation. Join us for a day of recognizing the truth and healing while creating a path forward at the Grand Opening of Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (SKG); an Anishinaabe post-secondary institute that preserves the integrity of Anishinaabe knowledge and understanding in cooperation with society to educate present and future generations in a positive, cooperative, and respectful environment.

Starting at 7:30am with a Sunrise Ceremony and a 9:00am official welcome, community and local schools are encouraged to come and take part in the Grand Opening of Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (SKG University). Activities include: Guest Speakers, Panel Discussions, Water Ceremony, Blanket Exercise, and Guided Tours of the SKG building and architecture, National Chiefs Library, Medicine Garden, and Workshops throughout the day.

The evening will conclude with a spectacular Drone Show bringing our oral history to life with over 200 drones over the night sky at Silver Creek Golf Course in Garden River First Nation. The intimate story entitled “Mewnizha”, is a Creation Story to guide your path to Truth and Reconciliation. Miigwetch to storyteller, Elder, language keeper, and Anishinabek Nation Language Commissioner Barbara Nolan for graciously sharing the Mewnizha story in English and Anishinaabemowin for a spectacular bilingual Drone Show. This family event is free to the public, with light nibbles and entertainment by Everett Morrison, an Indigenous opera performer who has participated in Canada’s Got Talent!

On Saturday Oct 1: Please join us all in celebrating the rich culture and resiliency of Indigenous peoples from the local communities of Batchewana First Nation and Garden River First Nation, as well as the diverse Indigenous cultures and experiences from across the region and all of Ontario.

Popular tourism destination, The Machine Shop in the Canal District, will come to life with Indigenous culture throughout the day. Admission is free and open to all! The program will run from 12pm to 9pm with something for all ages and interests including:

  • Over 20 talented Indigenous artists, crafters, makers, and businesses featured in our Vendor Marketplace including some interactive demonstration of traditional arts
  • Two unique Indigenous food booths will offer local Indigenous flavors including Thrive Tours and Chiblow Fish n Chips
  • The OLG Celebration Stage will present incredible performances of music, dance, and stories all day, ending with a revival of the popular “Nish Corner”, featuring local talent
  • Headliner Adrian Sutherland is from Attawapiskat First Nation. Adrian is passionate about making a difference and is a musician, speaker, advocate, respected cultural leader, and is fluent in Cree. Adrian was the founder and front-man of the all-Cree band, Midnight Shine, who earned multiple awards and Juno nominations.

As a new event, ITO is grateful to our sponsors for their support in making this event free and accessible for everyone to gather during this important time.

“TD has a long history of working and collaborating with Indigenous Peoples, organizations and communities, and we are proud to sponsor the first Weekend for Truth and Reconciliation in Sault Ste. Marie,” said Michael Nitz, District Vice President, Northern Shield, TD Bank Group. “The journey toward Truth and Reconciliation is ongoing and one we take together. Educational events such as this, which highlight Indigenous arts, celebrate Indigenous culture and encourage reflection on our shared history, bring us that much closer to creating a better tomorrow for all.” – TD, Presenting Sponsor

“Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) is a provincial non-profit and membership association which focuses on creating aligning and forming partnerships between businesses, associations, organizations, government departments, and industry leaders from across Ontario and Canada to support the growth of Indigenous tourism in Ontario and Canada while addressing the demand for development and marketing of authentic Indigenous experiences. ITO has an established membership process that enables Indigenous tourism industry partners to engage with and show support for Indigenous tourism. For more information, visit: www.IndigenousTourismOntario.ca.” – Kevin Eshkawkogan, CEO of Indigenous Tourism Ontario

Indigenous Tourism Ontario would like to recognize our funders and sponsors who are making this event possible. This project is funded (in part) by the Government of Canada through Canadian Heritage and by the Government of Ontario through Reconnect Ontario. Our sponsors include: TD Bank Group as a presenting sponsor, OLG as our headline sponsor sponsoring the OLG Stage on Celebration Day, Ironworkers Local 786 as a program sponsor, and The Algoma Conservatory of Music as an in-kind audio visual sponsor. ITO would also like to acknowledge our media sponsors: Post Media, ELMNT FM, and Shaw Spotlight.

For more information on the events please visit: https://indigenoustourismontario.ca/events/weekend-for-truth-and-reconciliation/

For further information:

MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Still, bstill@IndigenousTourismOntario.ca

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