Manitoba premier, NDP leader participate in pipe ceremony in Winnipeg

As a pipe ceremony came to an end, Manitoba Government leaders could be seen leaving an orange teepee at Memorial Park in Winnipeg.

Ava Wilson-Fontaine passed Premier Kelvin Goertzen and other leaders sweet grass as the ceremony wrapped up.

“We passed it to them because we want them not to forget,” said Wilson-Fontaine.

The ceremony was the first of many events across the nation for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – a federal holiday to honour residential school survivors and children.

A giant orange teepee stands in Memorial Park, and acts as a symbol for Sept. 30 which is also Orange Shirt Day.

The Centre for National Truth and Reconciliation from the University of Manitoba is hosting virtual events for Reconciliation Week.

Running from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, the virtual events will include everything from survivor stories to lessons on treaty rights.

Wilson-Fontaine says the attendance of the premier along with the new national holiday is a step in the right direction.

“It means they are willing to listen,” she said. “And that’s all we as Indigenous people want, is to be heard.”

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation came into effect as of June 2021, after Bill C-5 was passed.

APTN will have extensive programming on Sept. 30.