City permanently raises Wolastoqey flag in front of City Hall

Adds St. Mary’s First Nation flag to Council Chamber

At noon today, St. Mary’s First Nations Chief Allan Polchies, Jr. and community dignitaries gathered in front of Fredericton City Hall to permanently raise the Wolastoqey flag as a way to honour Truth and Reconciliation Day, also known as Orange Shirt Day.

The flag was raised following a First Nations ceremony that included a prayer and smudging ceremony by Elder Maggie Paul, drumming by The Sisters of the Drum, and remarks from Chief Polchies.  

Remarks were then shared by The Honourable Brenda Murphy, Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, Colonel D.R. Parsons, Commander, 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, and Fredericton Mayor Kate Rogers.  Members of Fredericton Council and St. Mary's Band Council were in attendance for the event.

In addition to flying the Wolastoqey flag, which represents the people of the beautiful and bountiful Wolastoq, Fredericton City Council will add the flag for Sitansisk (St. Mary’s First Nation) to the other flags currently found in City Hall Council Chamber.

Observing the day and flying flags is a way for the City of Fredericton’s to show its support and commitment to strengthen relationships with the Wolastoqiyik people in the region.  Fredericton City Council formally voted to observe the day as a municipal holiday and fly the Wolastoqey flag at its regular Council meeting on September 13, 2021.

In addition to flying the flags, City Hall will be lit in orange until October 1. City staff were also issued orange t-shirts or orange ribbons to wear to recognize Truth and Reconciliation Day.  Working alongside St. Mary’s First Nation, two orange sidewalks were also installed. 

The first is on Maliseet Drive, and features 13 feathers representing the 13 lunar cycles.  And with Pride celebrations over, the second was installed in front of City Hall, with six white feathers, one for each Wolastoqey communities in New Brunswick.