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Here's how residents of Ottawa marked the 3rd annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Orange t-shirts were a common sight in Ottawa on Saturday as thousands commemorated the third National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.

While some took the day to reflect on Parliament Hill, local groups in Ottawa found other ways to honour the residential school children who never made it home.

At Beechwood Cemetery, a plaque was unveiled honouring the victims of Canada's residential schools.

A plaque unveiled at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa honours the children who were forced to attend Canada's residential schools and never survived. Sept. 30, 2023. (Jackie Perez/CTV News Ottawa)

"It's to acknowledge that this happened. It was a genocide that happened here and there's remembrance for them," said Josh Lewis, with the Assembly of Seven Generations.

The Assembly of Seven Generations was one of several groups organizing events in the national capital region.

On Parliament Hill, thousands gathered to listen and learn as Indigenous leaders, residential school survivors and dignitaries shared the stage.

For Caroline Lalonde, it was a moment for healing.

She prefers to go by her spirit name Shipek Mikunis Muashk Tutem, which means feather falling to the ocean.

"My grandmother was in an Indian hospital and they did experiments on young children," she said. "She passed away last year. It's a hard day, but I'm here for my uncles and her sisters who went to residential school."

Governor General Mary Simon speaks on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Sept. 30, 2023. (Jackie Perez/CTV News Ottawa)

As events on Parliament Hill came to a close, some carried on to Sparks Street for a walking history on how bureaucrats played a role in the residential school system.

When it comes to conversations around truth and reconciliation, Indigenous organizers say they've seen a change over the years.

"I don't know how much support is going to be there… today, I feel grateful for the support," said Ceilidh Isadore, with the Assembly of Seven Generations. "I think that's what today is about, holding space for survivors and the ones we've lost."

But Indigenous groups say more work needs to be done and they hope education turns into action for the 94 calls to action from the 2015 TRC Commission. Top Stories

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