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UPDATED: Actions in Unity were part of Sept. 30 Truth and Reconciliation Day

Various actions were seen and experienced around Unity as part of the community's effort to recognize National Truth and Reconciliation Day

UNITY - In the first year of a day being dedicated to national truth and reconciliation, a number of people and places participated in different ways. While not all businesses closed that day, they did undertake varying methods of showing their support and understanding.

Schools have long been part of Orange Shirt Day, representing their support of education, awareness and support for this important matter.  

Living Sky School Division hosted two days of presentations. Sept. 29, Randy Morin was the keynote speaker for students online, with the elementary session entitled “Making Friends: The road to reconciliation." Morin’s afternoon session was directed to secondary students, entitled “Truth comes before Trust."  Sept. 30, Janelle Pewapsconias was the keynote speak for online presentations for all staff. The division will be showing support by wearing orange shirts. The LSSD website outlined what methods they are undertaking for the whole week for this national truth and reconciliation recognition.

Community schools also participated in other manners.Unity Composite High School senior girls' volleyball tournament held Sept. 25 held a brief ceremony wherein participating teams wrote a pledge on an orange T-shirt and hung it on the gym wall to remain there through the tournament and coming week. The coach and players sewed orange scrunchies for all players to wear throughout the tournament and beyond. Other students painted both the crosswalk and sidewalk entry to UCHS as a reminder to residents to reflect, remember and recognize the purpose of Truth and Reconciliation Day. Students, in addition to wearing orange shirts on Sept. 29, participated in several other activities during the day.

Also at UCHS, Sept. 29, PSCC co-chairs Jace Ducherer and Reid Martin led a virtual assembly where they shared facts on Residential Schools and presented three videos featuring Residential School survivors sharing their stories. This was followed up with an activity where all students and staff filled in reconciliation puzzle pieces, which are displayed around the building. Individual teachers also led various activities in their classrooms.  

Unity Public School students painted orange rocks with messages and placed them around town to also remind residents of this national day of remembrance and recognition.  

St. Peter's School in Unity flew their flags at half-mast as well as hosted a special dedicated prayer service Sept. 29 with an orange hand activity.

"During the last few weeks students at St. Peters have been investigating the legacy of Canda 's residential schools and First Nations History in general. As a school community we recognize that true reconciliation cannot take place without truth, On Thursday Sept. 29th students and staff gathered in front on the school for a prayer liturgy in memory of those who still suffer from the trauma of the residential schools and for those children who did not return home to their families and communities from the schools.  The prayer service culminated in a moment of silence at 2:15 pm in memory of the 215  unmarked graves found at the Kamloops Residential school. The students also shared their thoughts about how they can work to heal the relationships in the future with Saskatchewan's First Nations," said Principal Kelvin Colliar

Unity Credit Union had Alexandria Stubbs create a large window sign recognizing the day. As well, staff wore orange shirts and inside the building they have placed a land acknowledgement. Educational training opportunities were offered for staff.

The Town of Unity also took part with the town employees marking National Truth and Reconciliation Day as a holiday. Mayor Sharon Del Frari organized a gathering and brief presentation on Main Street, encouraging participants to wear orange shirts. At this event, she showcased a drum created and donated by local business, Maverick Tannery, with the mayor herself paying for the artwork. This drum will now be displayed in the mayor's office.