Home Community Orange Ribbon Ceremony and Blanket Exercise in Port Hawkesbury Community Orange Ribbon Ceremony and Blanket Exercise in Port Hawkesbury By Mary Hankey - September 30, 2021 Share Facebook Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp Karla Stevens displayed her “Every Child Matters” flag at the Orange Ribbon Ceremony in Port Hawkesbury on Sept. 22. There were representatives from several First Nation communities including We’koqma’q, Membertou, Potlotek, Sipekne’katik, Eskasoni and Wagmatcook. Photos by Mary HankeyThose who attended the ceremony were invited to tie their orange ribbons on the Truth and Reconciliation tree in Port Hawkesbury. Elder Katy McEwen, from the Mi’kmaq community of Membertou, attended the Orange Ribbon Ceremony in Port Hawkesbury with her grandson Boyd McEwen.Cheryl Copage-Gehue, from the Sipekne’katik First Nation, facilitated the Blanket Exercise at the Civic Centre following the Orange Ribbon Ceremony. During the exercise, facilitators play the role of European settlers and walk the group through a script, telling the story of the first contact between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.Members from several First Nation communities took part in the Orange Ribbon Ceremony, including We’koqma’q Deputy Chief Steven Googoo. The Mi’kmaq National Flag was raised at the Civic Centre in Port Hawkesbury during the Orange Ribbon Ceremony on Sept. 22. Helping raise the flag were (from the left): Potlotek Band Councillor Anita Basque, Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton, and We’koqma’q Deputy Chief Steven Googoo. The Blanket Exercise, held at the Civic Centre, is an experiential learning tool that helps participants understand how the arrival of European settlers impacted the Indigenous people who lived here before the colonists arrived. Participants stood on blankets that represented lands inhabited by First Nations. Drummers and singers from First Nations communities performed, as those who attended tied orange ribbons to the Truth and Reconciliation tree at the Civic Centre in Port Hawkesbury. Anita Basque, Band Councillor for Potlotek First Nation, spoke about the importance of truth and reconciliation at the Orange Ribbon Ceremony held at the Civic Centre in Port Hawkesbury.