We were proud and very honoured to be asked to serve lunch at the Enaahtig Healing Lodge and Learning Center on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
About the Enaahtig Healing Lodge and Learning Centre
For the past 25 years, the Enaahtig Healing Lodge and Learning Centre has provided services to hundreds of families and individuals through a combination of residential and day programming. Based upon the seasons, programs begin and end on the solstice and equinox and participants are expected to complete several residential weeks, ideally one in each season. The Lodge takes full advantage of their beautiful natural surroundings to create a peaceful and secluded environment where they can deliver a wide range of season-specific activities and healing approaches. Programs are designed, developed and delivered by trained Aboriginal professionals with input from Enaahtig’s Elders Advisory Council.
We were struck by the tranquil atmosphere that the staff have created at Enaahtig. Naturally, we loved the farm and the backdrop provided by the gorgeous maple bush in early fall. We also appreciated the working maple syrup operation and the fact that Enaahtig is translated to “maple” in English.
A National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30th has been designated as a day to honour the children who never returned home and the Survivors of the more than 140 federally run residential schools in Canada, including their families and communities. Created in 2021, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is seen as a critical step in the reconciliation process. The federal holiday is meant to be a day for Canadians to spread awareness of and reflect on the trauma and ongoing impacts of residential schools.
Every Child Matters - Orange Shirt Day
For the last nine years, September 30th has also been Orange Shirt Day. Created as a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission Residential School Commemoration Project and Reunion of May 2013, the day is an indigenous-led effort to raise awareness and create meaningful conversations about the effect and traumatic legacy of residential schools.
Phyllis Webstad was only six when the orange shirt her grandmother gave her was taken from her on her first day of residential school. The orange shirt now serves as a symbol of the stripping away of the Indigenous culture, freedom and self-esteem and the phrase “Every Child Matters” reaffirms the value of all who have been affected, regardless of age. September 30th was chosen because it represents the time of year that children were often taken from their homes and families.
On this sunny September 30th, we were once again touched by the kindness and resilience of this welcoming community and we were extremely proud to be a part of this important day. This year, while honouring the memories of the children they had lost, Enaahtig focussed on the re-connection of families in an effort to uplift and empower their community. Events included crafts, a petting zoo, games, pony rides, an obstacle course, wagon rides, a photo booth and a scavenger hunt. Shaws Catering was delighted to add to the festivities with a fully catered bbq lunch of slow roasted pig on a bun served with boardinghouse macaroni salad and garden pasta salad. It was a wonderful celebration fully in keeping with the fall harvest and we were delighted to be included.