On our first day of the YMCA Youth Exchange a small group of our students went to go and greet the exchange students from New Brunswick who had just landed after their flight. We guided them on the TTC from their hotel to one of our exchange student’s neighbourhood where we had a feast at the local community center. Each student’s family had to contribute at least one dish to the feast, and those dishes ranged from pasta salad all the way to mini pulled pork sandwiches.
Before the feast started we introduced our new guests to a brief history of Toronto, which included the Indigenous history, and what the city was used for in the past. We then introduced them with a traditional Indigenous song and drumming. We then had Pauline Shirt, a Native elder who lives in Toronto, welcome all of the guests.
After that was finished we all ate the food brought by the parents, and then socialized with each other to get to know each other. Some teachers led the group back to the hotel and we said goodbye, before we met the next day.