Education, reconciliation and reflection
The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury encourages residents to learn about the histories and cultures of the Indigenous people of Canada, particularly here in the place we now call BWG.
This page will be updated on an ongoing basis with resources that will help us achieve the aims of education, reconciliation and reflection.
National Indigenous Peoples Day
National Indigenous Peoples Day takes place on the summer solstice, June 21. For generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year. It’s a special occasion to learn more about the rich and diverse cultures, voices, experiences and histories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Join us on Tuesday, June 21 at 10:00 am at the BWG Leisure Centre for a ceremony and flag raising for National Indigenous Peoples Day. We are honoured to have White Eagle join us for this event and perform a special ceremony to recognize and celebrate the Indigenous community within BWG and across Canada.
Learn more about the history and significance of National Indigenous Peoples Day HERE
Download a National Indigenous Peoples Day Activity Guide HERE
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
The Town of BWG observed the first annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, which is intended to educate and remind Canadians about the history of residential schools, honour the victims and celebrate the survivors. The public was invited to join the Mayor and Council at the Community Flagpole in front of the BWG Leisure Centre (471 West Park Avenue) on
Thursday, September 30 at 10:00 a.m. for a flag-raising and lowering with a blessing and smudging ceremony by local Indigenous Elder, White Eagle. Click here for a video of the event.
As visitors on this land, the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury acknowledges that the land on which we gather today is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabek Nation, which includes Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi Nation, collectively known as the Three Fires Confederacy. We recognize that the Huron-Wendat, Chippewa and Haudenosaunee Nations have walked on this territory over time.
In times of great change, we recognize more than ever the importance of honouring Indigenous history and culture and are committed to moving forward in the spirit of reconciliation, respect and good health with all First Nation, Métis and Inuit people.
Would you like to know more about the original inhabitants of our land, both here in Canada and around the world? Visit Native Land for mapping that helps to explain the nations, languages and treaties that apply to any location on earth.
Education and Resources
The following are but a few of the many resources available to pursue education, reconciliation and reflection. Please
email us if you have a suggestion for an addition.
Truth & Reconciliation
National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation is a critical starting point to understanding the truths of the residential school experience, including what is known about the victims, as well as the stories of the survivors, their families and the communities affected. This is where you can find the
Truth & Reconciliation Commission Reports.
For young people, you can use
Spirit Bear’s Guide to help explain Truth & Reconciliation in an age-appropriate way.
The BWG Public Library and Cultural Centre offers a curated reading list of Indigenous stories told by Indigenous authors for readers of all ages.
Anishinabek Nation represents 39 First Nations throughout the province of Ontario from Golden Lake in the east, Sarnia in the south, Thunder Bay and Lake Nipigon in the north. Their website includes a brief history as well as a wealth of educational resources.
Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation
Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation are an Ojibwa (or Anishinaabeg) people located on Georgina Island in Lake Simcoe. Their website includes a Storytelling section where you can read and hear stories of life on Georgina Island.
City of Barrie
The City of Barrie, in collaboration with the Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle, produced a video series of virtual events in celebration Indigenous cultures and traditions for National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21.
Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle
The primary objective of the
Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle is to serve as a regional social health and planning organization functioning as an incubator of ideas in areas where a strong regional voice is needed. The Resources section of their website includes a series of videos aimed at cross-cultural awareness.
Barrie Native Friendship Centre
The vision of the
Barrie Native Friendship Centre is to improve the quality of life for all Indigenous/Métis people in the area, regardless of legal definition, by providing a gathering place which promotes unity and wholistic healing within the community at large. During non-pandemic times, the BNFC offers public events including an annual pow wow and encourages community visits.
The National Film Board
The NFB offers free streaming of a
selection of films by Indigenous filmmakers and allies about the tragic impact of residential schools in Canada.
If you are interested in donating to an organization to aid those impacted by residential schools, these are some potential recipients. All of these organization also offer further educational resources. Please email us if you have a suggestion for an addition.
Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society
Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society is a B.C. based organization providing services like counselling and health and cultural services to survivors of residential schools.
Legacy of Hope Foundation
Legacy of Hope Foundation‘s goal is to educate and raise awareness about the impacts of residential schools in the form of educational tools and consultation with survivors.
Orange Shirt Society
Orange Shirt Society works to raise awareness of intergenerational trauma caused by the residential schools and commemorate the experiences of survivors.
True North Aid
True North Aid provides practical humanitarian support to Indigenous communities in Canada. They have several categories of aid you can contribute to, including housing, food and reconciliation projects.
First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
First Nations Child and Family Caring Society develops education initiatives, public policy campaigns and provides resources to support First Nations communities and ensure the well-being of youth and their families.
The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund
The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund provides access to education on the true history of Indigenous peoples in Canada and the true history and legacy of residential Schools. They encourage reconciliation by way of their programming and events.