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How Vancouverites are commemorating National Day for Truth & Reconciliation (PHOTOS)

From pilgrimage walks to silent observance at home, Vancouver is taking the time to commemorate the Indigenous lives lost in Canada's residential schools
Tamara Bell
Tamara Bell, an inter-generational survivor of Canada’s residential school system organized the planting of 6,000 orange ribbons at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

From pilgrimage walks to silent observance at home, Vancouver is taking the time to commemorate the Indigenous lives lost in Canada's residential schools.

One of the most striking events held to mark Canada's first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation took place at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Tamara Bell, a seventh-generation Haida matriarch and inter-generational survivor of Canada’s residential school system organized the planting of 6,000 orange ribbons to represent the unmarked graves of Indigenous children. While the planting ceremony took place a day ahead of the Sept. 30 holiday, the ribbons can still be seen today.

Over the past week, the art gallery has also been celebrating Indigenous art, encouraging visitors to take time to learn, reflect and make connections in support of truth and reconciliation.

In North Vancouver, some people stood with members of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation community, and family members from Musqueam and Squamish nations in a 8.5-kilometre walk from the Tsleil-Waututh Reserve admin building to the site of the former St. Paul’s Residential School, now home to St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Secondary School.

Others are staying home, taking the time to learn about the county's residential schools on their own, offering book and movie recommendations so others can do the same.

Sept. 30 has often been known as Orange Shirt Day which was started to commemorate the experience of residential school survivors in Williams Lake.

Read more stories about National Day for Truth & Reconciliation and the Indigenous community in Vancouver:

With files from Elisia Seeber and Brendan Kergin