Williams Lake First Nation's 1st annual Speaking Our Truth Pow Wow Competition was held Sept. 9-11. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Ponoka community partners come together for ‘Discovering Truth’ event

Event will be held Sept. 29 in honour of National Truth and Reconciliation Day

Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) and the Ponoka Jubilee Library (PJL), with partners Canadian Heritage and the Town of Ponoka, are hosting a “Discovering Truth,” event on Sept. 29 on the grounds of Ponoka Elementary School (PES) from 1 to 3 p.m.

The event is a tribute to residential school survivors and those who were lost and is being held in honour of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The community-wide event is open to all, and will focus on creating understanding and respect.

“Absolutely everyone is invited to come out to take in the culture and hopefully gain some respect and understanding,” said Tiffany Toma, program coordinator at PJL.

“Hopefully everyone walks away a little more connected,” said Toma.

Toma was one of the organizers of the event, along with Erin Freadrich, First Nations, Metis and Inuit student success coordinator at WCPS.

“Through our event, we hope to honour the legacy of residential schools by building collective understanding, awareness and appreciation,” said Freadrich. “We are so fortunate to work alongside the Ponoka Jubilee Library, and our First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Success team in Wolf Creek Public Schools to organize this event.

“We invite the greater Ponoka, Maskwacis, and surrounding communities to join us.”

Ponoka Elementary, Ponoka Secondary Campus and the BRICK Learning will all have classes attending the event.

There will be two guest speakers, drumming and powwow dancing, as well as bannock and refreshments.

The powwow will wrap up with a friendship dance, where the spectators will be invited to come join in the dance, followed by a last dance for children.

Toma said such invents are important to the library and WCPS because both organizations are focused on education and the PJL has a mission of respecting the roots of the community.

“(At PJL) Everybody is given a voice and everybody has a chance to listen.”

An emotional wellness area tent will be onsite for those needing to take a minute to sit in a safe place, said Toma. The tent will have water, tissues, and weighted blankets and personnel to lend support.

Attendees are encouraged to wear orange, as organizers says it shows you recognize the impact that residential schools have had on multiple generations of Indigenous families and you understand the need for reconciliation.

The activities will be held in the field between PES, the BRICK Learning Centre and the Youth Centre, along Highway 2A.

There is no parking allowed in the busing area. Participants are asked to park in the Centennial Park parking lot or on the east side of the school.

MaskwacisPonokaTruth and ReconciliationWolf Creek Public Schools