Iqaluit gathering planned for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Walk of remembrance organized by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and Qikiqtani Inuit Association

A scene from a previous Orange Shirt Day event held in Iqaluit. The walk for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will start at the Igluvik Building at 1 p.m. (File photo by Meagan Deuling)

By David Lochead

A walk of remembrance will be held through Iqaluit on Thursday to honour residential school survivors during the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The event is being organized by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.

Orange T-shirts designed by Inuk artist Germaine Arnaktauyok will be handed out on Thursday in Iqaluit during the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. (Image courtesy of NTI)

NTI president Aluki Kotierk said the event is about reflecting on how to ensure Inuit culture and tradition are thriving despite the damage of residential schools.

“It will be a good day of reflection,” she said in an interview

Kotierk noted that while the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is new, Orange Shirt Day, which served a similar purpose and occurs on the same day, has been held since 2013.

The event begins at 1 p.m. at the Igluvut Building, where orange T-shirts will be distributed. At 1:30 p.m., there will be a moment of silence and then the walk will begin, ending at Iqaluit Square at 2:15. From 2:30 to 3:30 country food will be distributed.

NTI is also sending orange T-shirts to Nunavut’s other communities, Kotierk said. She added that NTI hopes to organize events in other Nunavut communities in the future.

This year’s T-shirts have an illustration of a mother and her child done by the Inuk artist Germaine Arnaktauyok, Kotierk said. Inuktut will be on the shirts as well.

In June, Parliament passed legislation to make Sept. 30 a statutory holiday for federal employees and workers in federally regulated workplaces.

Schools and territorial government offices will also be closed for the day in Nunavut, but Sept. 30 isn’t yet considered a statutory holiday in the territory. During the recent sitting of the legislature, Nunavut’s minister of human resources, David Akeeagok, said that the government needed more time to consult businesses and other organizations before declaring the day a holiday.

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(14) Comments:

  1. Posted by SJW on

    Can I bring my BLM/rainbow flag? Oh right, that was 2020’s cause.

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    • Posted by anon on

      Could you just not?

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    • Posted by Who hurt you? on

      As long as you don’t bring your MAGA flag we’ll be good buddy

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  2. Posted by Super Spreader on

    I got money that two weeks from now we are at the start of an outbreak.

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  3. Posted by Northern Store on

    Anyone else find it ironic that the Northern Stores are selling Orange shirts for $20?

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    • Posted by Frodo’s Parka on

      Finally the public is more aware of the atrocities committed in our past and present against indigenous peoples, even after it was already documented through the truth and reconciliation report. It is my hope that this can be helpful in realizing true reconciliation. I’ll say this though. It is in poor taste that Federal workers get a paid holiday while those in the private sector do not. Many indigenous work in the private sector. Make it a stat already!

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    • Posted by Paul on

      All proceeds from the Orange T-Shirts being sold at Northern is donated back to the community. NorthMart was approached by the community for support in selling their Orange T-Shirts as noted:)

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  4. Posted by think about it on

    Connecting to the selling of Orange Shirts by the Northern.
    In my community a walk is planned for September 30 to recognize the significance of the day.
    –> Those who participate will be entered into a draw for Northern Store gift cards.
    Of course: *people always need to win prizes*— this is the Nunavut way (and the irony of them being form the Northern is not lost). Disgraceful. (wondering if this is happening in any other communities)

    Hummm . . . lets start giving out prizes for people who attend Remembrance Day services . . . of course, why not, this is Nunavut: with anything and everything there MUST ALWAYS be prizes.

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    • Posted by Pedestrian me on

      If the church was selling orange shirts I would see the IRONY…

      But Northern? explain it to us rubes who don’t fully get it?

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      • Posted by Colonizer on

        Its fairly obvious.. The owner of the Northern store chain used to be the Hudson’s Bay Company, so like every other scapegoat ever used, it’s owned by colonizers. Colonizers are akin to murderers if you believe the online rhetoric.

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        • Posted by Northern Guy on

          Except that the HBC actually has a murderous past wherein it both preyed upon and used Indigenous groups in vicious proxy wars to control the fur trade in North America. All while amassing huge amounts of land and wealth at the expense of said indigenous peoples, The HBC is THE very definition of a colonizing organization

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          • Posted by Brian WQilloughby on

            How do more people believe the lie as opposed to the truth you have provided so accurately and succinctly. We are supposed to start with truth, then we move on to accepting that truth. I learned about these atrocities in grade 9, “Indians of Canada” IN 1972. WHOLE NATIONS WERE MASQUERADED.

  5. Posted by Respect on

    Judging by all the partying last night, there won’t be a big turnout today…

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    • Posted by You are Soo wrong on

      The March today was a record for Iqaluit. Was nice to see people care of fellow humans who were so mistreated by the state. Picture yourself as a 4-5 years old and being taken away from the only world you knew and being forced to learn a foreign language, let alone the abuse they endured. The least we can do is honour those who died and those who survived the horrors. Let us never forget them. Taima

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