PICTOU – The Town of Pictou hosted its second annual Pride Flag Raising Ceremony at Market Square on July 9and drew more than 40 people.
Mayor Jim Ryan called an “important event supporting equal rights and opportunities for members of the LGBTQ+ community while recognizing the importance of inclusion and peace for everyone in our world.”
Tonya Francis from the Pictou Landing First Nation led an opening prayer and invited those preset to hold a tiny amount of tobacco for it. She followed by offering a traditional welcome custom using smoke called smudging that contained the four sacred medicines: sweet grass, cedar, sage and tobacco.
Those taking part included Joy Polley, who co-chairs the Pictou County Rainbow Community, and activist and supporter Gerard Veldhoven.
“We support our people in Canada and around the world,” Velthoven said. “The Pride calls us to unify. If we unite we will conquer.”
From left: Coleman George, Mayor Jim Ryan, Joy Polley and Gerard Veldhoven stands with the Pride flag before it is raised. (Goodwin photo)