Sunrise Ceremony & Website Launch for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 22, 2022

Portage College will be hosting the second annual Sunrise Ceremony for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Friday, September 30. As an additional element to reflect Portage’s work towards truth and reconciliation, a new website section has been created. The Indigenous Ways of Knowing website and the Sunrise Ceremony will provide an opportunity for students, staff, faculty and the public to learn more with resources and Indigenous teachings.

On the website will be Indigenous events, partner projects, teachings, resources and more. All content will be Indigenous focused and will be a valuable resource. 

“This new website section is a living environment that will continue to be updated with new educational material and resources to support our efforts toward reconciliation and truth,” said Robert Rayko, Cultural and Community Facilitator at Portage College. “Portage and partners have been working together for over fifty years to incorporate Indigenous content in their teachings and events for students. It’s time we make that more public and accessible.”

On June 3, 2021, the federal government designated September 30 as a public holiday under the Canada Labour Code. Although not required by law to observe this holiday the College announced on September 1, 2021 that the College will be committing to observe the day.

September 30 is a day to remember the survivors and those who never returned home after attending residential school.

We come together with survivors and families who carry the burden of the painful shared history, explained Rayko.

“The Sunrise Ceremony is a traditional event in Indigenous cultures. We gather to offer prayer and seek the healing warmth of the light,” he said.

At sunrise, there will be a Sunrise Dance. Guests will be able to listen to elders and other honoured speakers talk about truth and reconciliation, listen to drummers and more. Afterward, there will be a pancake breakfast and a Project of Heart presentation sponsored by Canadian Natural Resources.

The Project of Heart is one of two projects that Portage College has committed to. This project uses education, discussion and an art activity to educate participants about reconciliation. The art component of this project will be turned into a display at one or more campuses as a visual reminder about how to take reconcili-ACTION.

The ceremony portion of the event will be broadcasted live at for those unable to attend. A recording will be made available on this webpage after.

“I am so honoured that our College will host an important ceremony on September 30 to remember those harmed by residential schools and many other tragedies. While we share the truth of trauma and racism that our neighbours and friends have suffered, it is good to come together to demonstrate our commitment to wâhkôtowin. I am so thankful of all the partners that will share with us during the ceremony and teachings on National Truth and Reconciliation Day,” said Nancy Broadbent, President and CEO of Portage College.

Everyone is encouraged to view the Indigenous Ways of Knowing section on the Portage College website and to attend the Sunrise Ceremony.

Event Details

Friday September 30, 2022

Location: Portage College St. Paul Campus, 5205 - 50 Ave.

6:30 A.M. Sunrise Ceremony. Coffee and tea will be provided.

9:00 A.M. Pancake Breakfast followed by Project of Heart presentation.

Media Inquiries:
Jaime Davies, Corporate Communications Manager 
780-623-5581 or email

We acknowledge that Portage College’s service region is on the traditional lands of First Nation Peoples, the owners of Treaty 6, 8 and 10, which are also homelands to the Métis people. We honour the history and culture of all people who first lived and gathered in these lands.
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