Sep 29, 2021

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation: Songhees and Esquimalt Nations To Mark The Day With nətsəmat Gatherings

The Songhees and Esquimalt Chiefs and Councils invite all indigenous and non-indigenous members of the community to form a path of healing as we work together as one to honor the survivors of residential schools. 

nətsəmat (Na’tsa’maht) is a Salish phrase meaning “Unity – Being all as one”

To honour the memories of all the children whose lives were lost at residential schools, the survivors, and their families, the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations are inviting members of the media to join two nətsəmat Gatherings taking place Thursday,September 30, 2021.  

“We will mark this first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation with this purpose of honouring unity with an emphasis on our youth who represent the next generation,” said Cecelia Dick, Cultural Tourism Manager for Songhees Nation. “This is their opportunity to experience how sharing their culture opens up a path to healing.”

Colwood nətsəmat Gathering 

Members of the public are invited to join the Na'tsa'maht Gathering hosted in Colwood by the lək̓ʷəŋən Peoples in honor of National Truth and Reconciliation Day. The gathering will begin with a welcome to the land and remarks from Chief Thomas and other dignitaries. Throughout the day, guests will hear stories, enjoy traditional songs, drumming, dancing, art and paddling, share food and participate in activities that create connections and build community 

When: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM, September 30, 2021 
Where: Royal Beach Park on Metchosin Road at Latoria Boulevard 

Victoria nətsəmat Gathering 

Members of the public are invited to gather at Protocol Corner at Victoria Inner Harbour (the South East corner) to witness canoe protocol as Songhees and Esquimalt leaders welcome visiting youth to lək̓ʷəŋən lands. Following will be a procession to Explore Songhees Kiosk at Ship Point, where 215 seconds of silence will be observed to remember those lost. Remarks, stories and dance performance will take place following. Bannock and orange shirts will be available for purchase, with proceeds going to programs supporting lək̓ʷəŋən youth with families who still bear the intergenerational trauma of residential schools. 

When: 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM, September 30, 2021 
Where: Victoria Inner Harbour Causeway 

Media Contacts

Karma Brophy 
P: 250-886-4604

Kathryn Wu 
Beattie Tartan 
P: 604-968-5153

Sandra Russell
City of Colwood