On Saturday May 30th, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation Chief, Council and community members travelled to Harbourfront Centre in downtown Toronto to officially welcome the Pan Am flame to Canada! The torch was flown from Mexico to Harbourfront Centre where it was met by canoes filled with members of the four recognized First Nations to accept the flame to the Mississaugas traditional territory.
In addition to the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, members of the Six Nations of the Grand River, Metis Nation of Ontario and Huron-Wendat were also present to welcome the Pan Am torch to the shores of Toronto. Chief Bryan LaForme was the first representative to accept the torch to Canada and to the Mississaugas of the New Credit First
Nation traditional territory. Chief LaForme opened the ceremony with a speech and encouraged all to embrace the spirit of the games. “As chief of the Mississaugas I welcome you to our traditional lands for sport, and an opportunity to forge closer relationships among all 41 countries. The Mississauagas of the New Credit First Nation has a theme for these games… ‘Embrace the Spirit’. Embrace the Spirit of healthy competition, and embrace the spirit of kinship with each other and our ties to the earth.”
Following the ceremony at Harbourfront Centre, the torch relay began with twenty official Toronto 2015 torchbearers transporting the torch to its next Day 1 Celebration destination in the Distillery District. The celebration continued as the torch was met by Colonel Chris Hadfield and was welcomed with music and entertainment despite the rainy weather conditions. Over the next 40 days the torch will travel 5,000+ KM throughout Canada and will be welcomed by 130 communities.