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Hour of silence for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Join the hour of silence from 11 am to 12 pm on September 30 in St John’s College

September 24, 2021 — 

On September 27, residents and students of St John’s College (SJC) will be assembling a memorial display that will be in the Chapel of St John for the whole week. Directly inspired by the recoveries at former residential schools that have been at the forefront of Canadian news this summer, the memorial will have orange ribbons, candles, and shoes representing the Indigenous children whose unmarked graves impacted people around the world.

The Chapel will host an hour of silence from 11 am to 12 pm on September 30, the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, where people are invited to sit in silence and be present in a space of reflection. A portion of the hour will be filmed and posted on the SJC Facebook page.

“We’ve missed many moments of silence for so many young people who died and we’re just beginning to remember,” says Reverend Helen Holbrook, St John’s College Chaplain. “We need to hear the stories and do so in solidarity, that maybe we can offer these moments of silence.”

This memorial is one of many ways the UM community plans to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It is one step in the greater goal of building a better community for all, on and off campus.

Rev. Holbrook looks back on the landscape of healing and reconciliation: “Justice Murray Sinclair once was challenged and asked why these events and stories need to be remembered for reconciliation. He said, ‘Do we not remember Remembrance Day and those wars and great losses that happened a long time ago?’”

While the physical memorial is displayed at St John’s College, anyone at home can create a similar space. Rev. Holbrook encourages us all to honour and take a moment of silence in our own ways. “Take care of this day on the 30th. We’ve been granted it, the government has recognized it – let’s make it meaningful,” she adds.

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