We acknowledge that we still have a lot to learn, and there is room for improvement. We invite you to join in our journey of truth and reconciliation, decolonization and indigenization.

Waacus Salee Programs > Orange Shirt Day Commemoration Event


Gather with the community for a meaningful Orange Shirt Day commemoration, the National day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Thursday, Sept 28th, 2023
3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Location: Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House, 2131 Renfrew St. Vancouver

This is a family-friendly community event that offers space to raise awareness and encourages everyone to educate themselves and do what they can to participate in the journey towards reconciliation and decolonization.

Join us for Indigenous speakers, drumming and story telling. We will also offer smudging, healing medicines, learning materials, and refreshments. You are invited to share your voices and collaborate on a community banner, which will be carried during the Orange Shirt Day walk on September 30th in town.

September 30th is Orange Shirt Day – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House will be closed to mark this day and honor the children who never returned home, survivors of residential schools, as well as the families and communities affected. A group of Frog Hollow staff and community members will be joining the memorial walk with Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre, Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre and Britannia from Hastings, Commercial to Grandview Park on Sept 30.


Some of the Indigenous knowledge keepers we are blessed to have at the event so far include 🧡Norm Leech, 🧡Elder Glida Morgan, 🧡Elder Kung Jaadee (Roberta Kennedy) , 🧡Elder Char Leon, and 🧡 the Carnegie lexwst’í:lem Drum Group.

Elder Glida Morgan is a TIa’amin matriarch, drummer, singer, community healer, an Indigenous community leader, and a strong advocate for using culture as a source of healing. For 10 years she has been president of the Pacific Association of First Nations’ Women. In addition to providing community leadership, she has been a front-line worker on the Downtown East Side for over 18 years in areas of Family Violence, Women’s Issues & Mental Health. Glida has explored ways in which culture can be integrated into the health care plans for Aboriginal people and she sits as an Elder on the Vancouver Coastal Health’s Advisory Committee. Glida has been a part of a group who provide medicine in the form of songs for patients in palliative care. She is also active in a well-known Gospel Choir and a traditional drum & dance group. She has performed at community events across British Columbia. Glida is determined to bring light and healing to future generations. 


Norm Leech – Norm is a frequent speaker and trainer on the Indigenous experience and trauma from colonization. He grew up in East Vancouver, with ancestry in the T’it’q’et community of the St’at’imc nation where he has served as Chief and also Administrator. He draws on his experiences as a recovering alcoholic/ addict, inter-generational survivor, trauma worker, and spiritual explorer to inform his current work. Norm is currently the Executive Director of Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House who joined us April 2023! Before Frog Hollow, Norm was the Executive Director of Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre (VACPC).


Elder Kung Jaadee (Roberta Kennedy) is a professional storyteller, educator and published author belonging to the X̱aayda (Haida),  xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations. Her Haida name, Kung Jaadee, means ‘Moon Woman’ and was presented to her at her great uncle’s memorial feast by her cousin Crystal Robinson. Over the past 28 years, Kung Jaadee has performed traditional Haida legends, while also sharing vivid personal stories about her clan’s survival of the smallpox epidemic, and  the history and culture of her people. She has performed at hundreds of festivals, schools and Aboriginal celebrations across Canada... Learn more>>


Elder Char Leon – Char is an Anishnaabe Kwe from the Peguis First Nation. She has resided in British Columbia with her immediate family since 1981. Char holds a Master in Social Work and a Master of Education. She balances her professional roles with who she is: a mother, nookomis (grandmother), friend, community helper, knowledge seeker, counselor, and educator. Her passion for wellness among her people has been one of the driving forces in her 35+ years of work in the area of Indigenous wholistic social service, education, child welfare, youth justice, mental health, and community wellness. She strives to incorporate Indigenous tradition and wholistic healing approaches and the application of this knowledge with diverse and generalist practice contexts.


Carnegie lexwst’í:lem Drum Group – By way of the Carnegie Centre Cultural Sharing Program, members of the DTES community have come together to form – The lexwst’í:lem Drum Group. We are honored to share the Halq’eméylem word lexwst’í:lem for “Always singing” – As we live and learn on the traditional territory of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil- Waututh). Our diverse drum group of both Indigenous and Non Indigenous cultures – performs and shares songs from various Indigenous Nations across Canada. We are proud to keep learning the language, music and song while sharing and keeping Indigenous Culture strong Gila’kasla – Haw’aa – T’ooyaksim’ N’iisim’ – Thank you.

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