As part of the Miyo-wîcîwitowin Day celebrations that have taken place in Regina Thursday in honour of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a brand-new orange seat has been unveiled at Mosaic Stadium.
The seat is meant to honour those who never made it home from residential schools.
“Known as our seat of truth, this orange seat will be a permanent visual reminder of the truth that must be told so that actions of reconciliation can advance,” said Regina mayor Sandra Masters.
The single orange seat is located in section 531, row 7, seat 11.
“When we are at the stadium, whether it’s a Rider game or a concert, when we look at this seat we will be reminded of a truth that must be understood and reconciliation as focus on behalf of all residential school survivors and their families.”
Amongst the sea of green, the orange seat will never be purchased by fans, and will remain empty during Saskatchewan Roughrider games and any other event at Mosaic Stadium.
“Our seat of truth will always remain unseated and unsold. It will remain available for the spirit of those never got the opportunity to witness our world today.”
Masters hopes the seat is not only a reminder of those who lost their lives in residential schools, but also to honour those who continue to be impacted by the intergenerational trauma the residential school system has caused.
“You want to talk about strong people, these survivors are the strongest you will ever meet in your life,” Masters said.
The orange seat will have a plaque installed outlining the meaning of it and the importance of allowing those who never made it home from residential schools to be part of the community.
Immediately after the chair was unveiled, the Royal Canadian Air Force flew over the stadium in a missing man formation, to honour the children who never made it home from residential schools.
For Regina Exhibition Association Limited president and CEO Tim Reid, the final moments of the day including the seat unveiling were his favourite experiences and something he will remember.
“The unveiling of that seat and the shift from what we have learned from the past and what we will do in the future… I think it went from learning to doing,” he said.
For Masters, the seat is a chance to remember — something she hopes happens every time someone sees the only orange seat in the stadium.
“The idea is that once you look at it, you can’t unsee it,” Masters said. “Every time that jumbotron is looked at and it is looked at often, you will see the orange chair and it is meant to remind us that we can’t forget.”