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Toronto, Sept 27 (Canadian-Media): The Indian Residential School Survivors (IRSS) Legacy would be celebrated from Oct 9 through Oct 11 for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the honour of residential school survivors and their families, media reports said.
The IRSS Legacy Celebration, the first of its kind in Canada, produced by the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre -- an autonomous, vibrant cultural agency serving Indigenous community and a member of the Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council and the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres -- in collaboration with the City of Toronto, would feature Indigenous songs, stories, language, food, performances, installations and demonstrations for all ages.
The IRSS Legacy Celebration/Twitter
"We are pleased and proud to be able to host and help produce this important event at Nathan Phillips Square," said John Tory, Mayor of Toronto. "It is essential that reconciliation moves from discussion into action and this celebration provides a forum for that evolution to occur."
Nathan Phillips Square/Facebook
"This gathering is significant as it is scheduled around the new lunar moon cycle, which represents a positive energy force in addition to our harvest cycle, a time to acknowledge and give thanks for all that we are provided and a part of," said Andrea Chrisjohn, Board Designate (ohkwali clan, On^yota’a:ka), Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. "And, to celebrate the resiliency, change and growth of our people."
IRSS Legacy Celebration Program will include: Two evening performances (Oct. 9 and 11) by Juno Award-winning Mohawk Six Nation singer-songwriter/piano player Murray Porter and his song "Is Sorry Enough?"; healing songs by Indigenous women (Oct 9 evening) by using hand drums to honour survivors and inter-generational members through a reaffirmation of identity ceremony; Screening of the award-winning film "Indian Horse," on Oct 10 evening which would shed light on the dark history of Canada’s residential schools; drop-in workshops, information sharing and interactive experiences by more than 20 large painted teepees across the Square; traditional performances and cultural teachings; Indigenous food, arts and crafts in the Indigenous Marketplace for sale.
This public space initiative will consist of a six-foot-tall (two metres) turtle sculpture called the “Restoration of Identity sculpture” and a “Teaching, Learning and Sharing and Healing space” to be permanently featured on Nathan Phillips Square, is anticipated to be completed in 2020.
Restoration of Identity sculpture/Facebook
Unveiling of turtle sculpture replica and project plans will be on October 9 during the IRSS Legacy Celebration.
The IRSS Legacy sculpture was developed in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action 82 to commission and install a publicly accessible, highly visible, residential schools monument in each capital city to honour residential school survivors and their families.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)