Bracebridge man honours residential school victims with orange ribbon display
The Town of Bracebridge is honouring children who suffered and died in residential schools ahead of National Truth and Reconciliation Day with thousands of orange ribbons.
Each ribbon tied to the bridge at the falls represents one of the graves found at residential schools across the country earlier this year.
Bracebridge resident Nathan Hynes and a friend made it their mission to tie each ribbon over the past month.
"I wanted to raise awareness for National Truth and Reconciliation Day this September 30th," Hynes said.
"I really wanted to raise awareness for people and be a voice for people who didn't know what to do in the community," he explained. "There's a lot of Indigenous people that don't have a voice in Muskoka."
Hynes said he had tied over 6,500 ribbons so far near the falls.
While he said he isn't a residential school survivor, his grandfather and father are.
"It's not a day to celebrate. It's a day to honour and remember these children," Hynes said.
Earlier this year, the federal government passed legislation recognizing Sept. 30 as the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation following the grim discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.
The orange ribbons will remain at the falls for the time being. Hynes said he plans to take them down on Oct. 21 and encourages others to help.