A sea of orange shirts filled the park Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, for a joint event planned by Akwesasne and Cornwall organizations to honour residential school survivors. Orange Shirt Day now coincides with Canada’s National Day for Truth & Reconciliation on September 30th every year.


The event at Cornwall’s Lamoureux Park featured Akwesasne speakers, residential school survivor presentations, Indigenous songs and dance, art, and traditional food samples, to name a few of the event’s agenda items. 


Doug George – Kanentiio – provided a powerful presentation on his personal experience at a residential school. He is part of a larger group of survivors who are sharing the important and difficult stories behind residential schools that need to be heard.


Despite the somber memories and the reality of what residential schools caused, Saturday’s event was a symbol of healing and friendship.  Residents of Akwesasne, Cornwall, and surrounding towns gathered to share a mutual intent to be a part of the healing that is needed. 


The event was a true collaboration between the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s departments, the City of Cornwall, the Native North American Travelling College, the Children’s Aid Society, and others.  The Akwesasne Freedom School was chosen as the recipient of funds raised through the sale of orange shirts.


We would like to thank the City of Cornwall for the assistance in planning, coordination, and use of Lamoureux Park.  We also thank the group of organizers, agencies, and the many volunteers.  Special thanks to all the schools who submitted beautiful banners for display and those who attended to assist. Thank you to the demonstrators, artists, speakers, and performers.


To all those who attended, niawenhkó:wa for your commitment to Orange Shirt Day and to truth & reconciliation.