A Day of Reflection and Reconciliation
On September 29th, the Neill Hall Enhanced Care community came together to observe Orange Shirt Day, a day dedicated to recognizing the impact of residential schools on Indigenous communities.
The day included a heartfelt ceremony on Main Street, where residents and team members reflected on New Brunswick’s history and the importance of acknowledging Truth and Reconciliation Day.
Resident Patsy Paul is a residential school survivor and resident of Neill Hall. In Patsy’s hands is a framed land acknowledgment that honours our elders and their families.
Sarah Condran, the Recreation coordinator at Neill Hall, consulted with the Sitansisk Wolastoqey (St. Mary’s First Nation) reserve to create the content for the plaque, which was then approved by Sakom (Chief) Allan Polchies.
“For me, the importance of creating the plaque was to have something that would become a permanent symbol as the grounds on which Neill Hall was built as First Nation land, and acknowledge that many of our residents, past, current, and future, will relate deeply to this heritage,” said Sarah.
The plaque was unveiled at the Truth and Reconciliation ceremony and bears the Wolastoqewiyik Nation flag. The flag is used by all the Wolastoqewiyik Nation and is respected as a symbol of unity that incorporates many culturally significant elements.
🛶 The canoe and paddle represent the ancestral transportation technology of the birchbark canoe and ash paddle.
💧 The river symbolizes who they are as People of the Beautiful River, Wolastoqewiyik, and how the river highway keeps Wolastoqewiyik connected to all their communities.
🌱 The fiddlehead double curve designs in the corners are emblematic of the symbol for life, generations, past and present, and the traditional food source.
🎨 The four sacred colours of creation are blue for water and tan for the land and islands.
🐟 The salmon in the center has been another source of sustenance for Wolastoqewiyik and embodies their spirit of resilience and strength.
💚 The deep green of the flag represents the Earth.
This powerful statement recognizes the history and culture of the land on which our Neil Hall community stands. Step onto the grounds of Neill Hall, and you’ll be standing on sacred land.
Learn about the Wolastoquey Nation in New Brunswick: wnnb.wolastoqey.ca