A rear view of the St. Eugene Residential School and chapel nearing completion, circa 1911.

A rear view of the St. Eugene Residential School and chapel nearing completion, circa 1911.

City of Cranbrook to observe National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

The City of Cranbrook announced Thursday that it stands alongside the Ktunaxa Nation Council to formally observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, September 30th.

The Government of Canada passed legislation earlier this year to mark September 30th as a national day to recognize and reflect on the legacy and history of Canada’s residential school system and the irreparable harm it caused to our First Nations communities.

“Recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by the City of Cranbrook is another important step forward in our ongoing commitment to further grow our relationship with our Ktunaxa Nation neighbours,” says Mayor Lee Pratt. “We stand with the Ktunaxa Nation not only on this day, but each day as we work toward a better future together.”

As part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, Canada has since made September 30th the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

September 30th is also Orange Shirt Day across Canada. The date was specifically chosen to recognize the time of the year when Indigenous children were taken from their families and forced to attend residential schools across the country, many of whom would never see their families again.

The Ktunaxa Nation and the City of Cranbrook were in discussions to hold a joint community event to commemorate the day, but with the current Interior Health gathering restrictions in place due to COVID, it was decided to hold off for this year.

Recognizing the significant importance of the day, the City of Cranbrook will close all non-essential services to commemorate the day. The intention is that residents will be given an opportunity to reflect and learn about the residential school legacy across Canada, and closer to home at St. Eugene Mission in the ʔaq’am community.

All essential services will remain open, but the Cranbrook Public Library will be closed. Garbage and recycling collection will continue to operate as scheduled with its regular service on Thursday.

The City of Cranbrook is continuing a journey of reconciliation with the Ktunaxa Nation. Back on June 21st, 2021, for National Indigenous Peoples Day, both the City and the Ktunaxa Nation jointly raised the Ktunaxa flag at the City’s arches. Cranbrook is committed to building and bolstering its relationship with the Ktunaxa Nation and continuing to be a community that fosters inclusivity and that pays respect and recognizes the Ktunaxa’s history, traditions, and culture.