Royal Canadian Mint and Canada Post celebrate Truth and Reconciliation

The Royal Canadian Mint has issued a “Truth and Reconciliation Keepsake” that represents a past that must never be forgotten and a better future we can all build together. The design of this keepsake was a cooperative effort led by three talented Indigenous artists representing First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities who worked together with Survivors to create an appropriate and thoughtful design marking the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. (Source: The Royal Canadian Mint.)

There are pictures of the keepsake below. For more information visit the Mint’s website here.

Canada Post issued a set of four stamps to honour Truth and Reconciliation

This stamp issue is the first in a series showcasing the artistic visions of Inuit, Métis and First Nations artists for the future of Truth and Reconciliation. Each stamp was created by a different aboriginal artist. (Source: Canada Post.)

You can read more about the stamps on the Canada Post website here.

For both websites you may need to scroll down to read their articles on Truth and Reconciliation.

Click or tap on the pictures below to see a larger version.

Bravery Park Officially Opened

On September 3, 2021, Orangeville’s Bravery Park, which is dedicated to the bravery of our Canadian soldiers, was officially opened by The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. The Medicine Wheel Garden is a proud part of Bravery Park.

The picture below shows Her Honour visiting the DCCRC Medicine Wheel Garden.

Indigenous Crosswalk in Orangeville

The Town of Orangeville has installed an Indigenous crosswalk at its main downtown intersection. Located on Broadway at First Street, the orange crosswalk, with seven feathers centred across its width, commemorates the Indigenous children who were taken from their families and forced to attend residential schools.

Orangeville Council decided in June to install a special crosswalk as a step towards reconciliation in our community. The goal was to install the crosswalk by September 30, 2021 – the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Understanding the relationship with Creation has always been important to Indigenous people and the belief that all forms of life are equally important. The seven feathers on the Indigenous crosswalk hold a special significance, representing the teachings of the Seven Grandfathers.

The teachings of the Seven Grandfathers is a set of teachings on human conduct towards others, focusing on a moral respect for all living things. Many Aboriginal organizations and communities have adopted the seven guiding principles centred around wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility and truth.

The Dufferin County Cultural Resource Circle and local elders provided input on the feather design for the orange crosswalk, installed by Almon Equipment Ltd.

“The Town continues its support of the Indigenous Community – this crosswalk is a symbol of the strength and courage of the Residential School survivors and a tribute to those lives lost,” said Mayor Sandy Brown. “It will be permanent reminder of this unfortunate part of Canadian history.”

“True reconciliation requires ongoing action from all levels of government,” said Councillor Lisa Post, who brought the crosswalk concept forward to Orangeville Council for consideration. “Of the 94 calls to action identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the installation of this crosswalk puts action behind both the educational component as well as collaboration with Indigenous organizations for commemoration. There is still lots of work to be done, but this serves as an important first step towards reconciliation in our local community.”

Reproduced, with thanks, from the Town of Orangeville web site.

CityNews in Toronto also produced a video of the occasion. You can view it here.

On December 10, 2019, DCCRC Celebrated its Fifth Anniversary

On December 10, 2014, Dufferin County Cultural Resource Circle was incorporated. The Co-founders were our Chair, Debora Sipkema and her husband, Gil Sipkema. On the 2019 anniversary day, our Chair posted this message on the DCCRC Facebook page: “On this anniversary we look back and have to acknowledge all those people who helped us get to this point. Thank you to all who have sat on the Board over the last 5 years and a huge thank you to the Board we have now who are helping us move forward. Wow 5 years already, I am looking forward to the next 5 years moving forward.”

As we look back, we remember Cathy Elliott who was a member of the DCCRC founding Board of Directors and was invaluable in helping to develop the DCCRC vision—using education to build the bridge to understanding between the First Nations, Métis and Inuit, and non-Indigenous Canadians. Cathy was a true friend to our founders Gil and Deb as they navigated their way through the creation of DCCRC and Cathy was the sole creator of the DCCRC logo. We lost Cathy in October of 2017. The DCCRC and all its future events and programs are part of Cathy’s legacy. We will miss her dearly. She will never be forgotten.

Community Gathering Potluck

On December 7th, 2019 our Community Gathering Potluck was held from 11 am to 3 pm at the Humber College, Orangeville Campus. There were approximately 45 people enjoying this time of sharing and being together.

Bob Goulais and the Young Creek Drum Group performing at the Potluck Lunch.

Hills of Headwaters Collaborative

The December 6, 2019 News Release from the Ministry of Health refers to the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Ontario Health Team. A Community Wellness Council has been formed, made up of patients, families and caregivers, who will help co-design the changes and improvements in the region. One of the stated focuses of the Headwaters OHT is to improve and expand access to mental health and addictions services.

Our Chair, Deb Sipkema, with members of the Community Wellness Council, which is part of the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative.
Photo courtesy Chris Halliday, Orangeville Banner


Please click on the links below for more information:

Article from the Orangeville Banner and

News Release from the Ontario Ministry of Health

Hills of Headwaters Collaborative web site

Town of Orangeville Adopts Land Acknowledgement

On November 18, 2019, the Dufferin County Cultural Resource Circle delegation of DCCRC Community Elder, DCCRC Co-Founder and Chair Debora Sipkema, and DCCRC Co-Founder Gil Sipkema attended the Town of Orangeville Council meeting. Also in attendance were Members Darin Long, Shokheen Singh and Morgan Little. The Recommendation below was adopted by Council: Recommendation: That Report CPS-CL-2019-025 regarding Land Acknowledgement be received: And that Council adopt the following land acknowledgement for the Town of Orangeville; And that it be used to open Council meetings, at Town Facilities and formal events as appropriate; “I would like to acknowledge the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe people including the Ojibway, Potawatomi and Odawa of the Three Fires Confederacy.”

Please click here to view the DCCRC delegation at the Council meeting and witness this historic event.

Dufferin Board of Trade Awards Gala

On October 24th 2019 the Dufferin Board of Trade Awards Gala was held at the Orangeville Agricultural Society Event Centre. DCCRC was nominated under the heading of “Association of the Year”.

Orange Shirts Created to Educate and Promote Awareness Regarding Residential School Systems

In 2019, Dufferin County Cultural Resource Circle created their first Orange Shirts to educate and promote awareness regarding residential school systems.  We thank Mark’s of Orangeville for sponsoring the shirts and enabling us to take the message into our Community.

In honour of Orange Shirt Day and the First Nations Public Library Week, Orangeville Public Library asked our Community Elder to speak on September 30.  She shared the story of Shin-chi’s Canoe and answered questions from the public afterwards.

A fundraiser on behalf of DCCRC was also held the weekend of September 28-29 at Deja Vu Diner.  We appreciate the strong support from our County of Dufferin community.
Orange Shirt Day began in Williams Lake, BC in 2013 at the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event and has since spread across the country. The name Orange Shirt Day honours survivor Phyllis Webstad’s story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away from her on her first day of school at the Mission.  She was given the orange shirt by her grandmother for her first day of residential school.  When Phyllis got to school, they took away her clothes, including her new shirt. It was never returned. To Phyllis, the colour orange has always reminded her of her experiences at residential school and, as she has said, “how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and I felt like I was worth nothing. All of us little children were crying and no one cared.”

Orange Shirt is a national movement in Canada for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to come together in the spirit of hope and reconciliation to honour former residential school students whose families and communities have been impacted by the policies and actions of the Government of Canada and the churches that operated the schools.

Residential schools were church-run schools where approximately 150,000 Métis, Inuit and First Nations children were sent between the 1860s and the 1990s. The schools harmed Indigenous children by removing them from their families, forcing them to speak English or French instead of their ancestral languages, disconnecting them from their culture and traditions and forcing them to adopt Christianity in order to assimilate into Canadian society. The government has since acknowledged that this approach was wrong, cruel and ineffective, and offered an official apology to the Indigenous people of Canada in 2008.

The date of the annual event was chosen because it is the time of year that children were removed from their families and forced to attend residential schools. Orange Shirt Day inspires Canadians to initiate anti-racism and anti-bullying initiatives in schools and the workplace.
The residential school era began in the early 1870’s, with the last school closing in 1996. More than 150,000 Indigenous, Métis and Inuit children attended these schools, with an estimated 80,000 survivors living today.

Town of Orangeville – Orange Shirt Day Proclamation – Manager of Recreation Programs, Sharon Doherty;
Councillor and DCCRC member Joe Andrews, DCCRC Chair Deb Sipkema, Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh, Mayor Sandy Brown, Councillor Debbie Sherwood and DCCRC member Tiffany Smith


Orange Shirt Day at the Orangeville Public Library

DCCRC Flag Raising

On December 7, 2018, at the Alder Street Recreation Centre in Orangeville, our DCCRC flag was raised.  This is the first time it has been raised to be flown permanently in our area.  The traditional drum group, Jimmy Dick and the Eagleheart Singers, was part of the celebration and along with our Community Elder performed the protocol to raise this flag. A traditional Land Acknowledgement of the Anishinaabe people was read and the traditional Indigenous drumming was performed by Jimmy Dick and the Eagleheart Singers prior to the flag raising ceremony.  The flag was also doused with sage to bless it with positive energy. This historical moment helps continue the partnership created with our Indigenous community, the Town of Orangeville and the County of Dufferin. This flag itself features a snapping turtle as an Anishinaabe legend explains the origin of North America, also known as Turtle Island.  Legend goes that a snapping turtle offered its back during a great flood as a foundation for a new Earth. 
This flag was designed by a DCCRC community member, Kirstin Evensen, graphic designer.

Left to Right below: The DCCRC flag, our Community Elder at the dedication ceremony, Jimmy Dick and the Eagleheart Singers, the flag flies proudly outside the Alder Street Recreation Centre.

Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version of them.

For more information concerning the symbols on the flag please visit our Educational page.

In Memory of Cathy Elliott

Cathy was a member of the DCCRC founding Board of Directors and was invaluable in helping to develop the DCCRC vision — using education to build the bridge to understanding between the First Nations, Métis and Inuit, and non-indigenous Canadians. Cathy was a true friend to our founders Gil and Debbie as they navigated their way through the creation of DCCRC and was the sole creator of the DCCRC logo.

We lost Cathy in October of 2017. The DCCRC and all its future events and programs are part of Cathy’s legacy. We will miss her dearly. She will never be forgotten.

Courtesy of The Globe and Mail