The Town of Qualicum Beach council has joined the Regional District of Nanaimo in recognizing National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30.
At its regular meeting on Sept. 8, town council agreed to fast-track and unanimously support Mayor Brian Wiese’s motion to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Wiese spoke about the horrors of residential schools and expressed sadness for what children and families had the endure.
“I felt angry, helpless of what I could do, what I could encourage others to do,” said Wiese. “This is not something that should disappear into a blur of yesterday’s news. This is something that deserves to be discussed, dialogued and understood. Truth and Reconciliation is about taking steps towards healing and forgiveness. It’s about moving forward.”
Wiese recommended the town fly the flags at half-mast on Sept. 30. Staff was also directed to reach out to residents and community associations to encourage those who wish to express their acknowledgement, condolences, hope, kindness. The can do so by writing the town with the heading ‘Truth and Reconciliation’.
“The town will keep your messages and bind them in a place in the main hall foyer for people to read and share and discuss now into the future,” said Wiese, who encouraged the community to inform themselves of the truth and to discuss it to better understand the journey of the children and families, and their incredible strength of those who have survived.
The RDN has also agreed to fly flags at half-mast at its administration building and recreation facilities on Sept. 30.
“Formally recognizing this important day is in response to one of the 94 Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action,” said Tyler Brown, RDN chair. “It is essential that we make ongoing space to honour residential school survivors and their communities, and do our part as citizens, friends, neighbours and governments to collectively come to terms with truths about our country and advance reconciliation.”
Some services at the RDN will be impacted on Sept. 30. RDN offices and recreation facilities will be closed that day. Regular services and programs will resume on Oct. 1.