Thousands of people gathered at Jeanne-Mance Park in Montreal on Thursday, Canada Day, to honour the memory of more than 1,000 Indigenous children whose remains have been found in the last few weeks on the grounds of former residential schools across the country.
Indigenous and non-Indigenous people came dressed in orange sweaters — the symbolic colour of support to honour the young lives lost.
A convoy of cars from the Mohawk community of Kanesatake made their way to Montreal to join the march, which ended downtown.
Nakuset, director of the Native Women’s Shelter in Montreal and organizer of the event, called on non-Indigenous people to “pressure the government to fulfill the promises made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”
She that “scanning residential school sites was part of the deal, and Justin Trudeau said he would,” noting that even today, Indigenous people are overrepresented in the homeless community and in prisons.
“In the future, we should recognize the damage done to Indigenous peoples on Canada Day,” she added.
On Thursday, Justin Trudeau called on Canadians to “reflect on the historic shortcomings of our country and the injustices that persist against Indigenous peoples.”