Many people came out to the Bring Them Home event in Saskatoon on Thursday, choosing to spend Canada Day by remembering and supporting the Indigenous community.
The crowd at the event was a sea of orange — a symbol for the Every Child Matters movement.
“It’s time for change. It’s 2021,” Bring Them Home organizer Allison Forsberg said.
“The apology for the residential school survivors was done in 2008. That’s quite some time, and personally, I feel by celebrating Canada Day, it’s not allowing those survivors to heal.”
The recent discoveries of hundreds of unmarked graves near residential schools across the country has Canada reflecting, listening to survivors of the system.
The gathering at Kiwanis Memorial Park had a number of people share their thoughts on the matter.
“There’s a lot of people who are denying what has actually happened,” event attendee Michael Linklater said. “It’s an unfortunate reality. But today is a day that we recognize the true history of how this country came to be.”
Forsberg said it’s crucial that people take the time to support residential school survivors, and added that doing so is more important than watching Canada Day fireworks.
“I’m Indigenous, and having that background, it’s important to show the support and … understanding to those survivors,” Forsberg said.
One of the event’s speakers said because of the tragic discoveries, now is the time to educate, share stories and understand the country’s past.
“I think that the time is now to truly start being allies with Indigenous peoples and working together in order to ensure that truth and reconciliation happens in this country,” speaker Andre Bear said.
The event was planned to conclude Thursday night with a candlelight vigil on the Broadway Bridge.