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Saskatchewan marks 2nd annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Click to play video: 'Miyo-wîcîwitowin Day, a Truth and Reconciliation event, held in Regina'
Miyo-wîcîwitowin Day, a Truth and Reconciliation event, held in Regina
Chief RoseAnne Archibald from the Assembly of First Nations said this sets the stage for a safe environment where First Nations and Indigenous people can heal and move forward – Sep 30, 2022

Friday marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and a number of events are being held across Saskatchewan.

In Saskatoon, a powwow is being held at the SaskTel Centre from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and a concert featuring George Canyon is being held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Read more: AFN chief urges reflection on residential schools this Truth and Reconciliation Day

Both events are being put on by the Saskatoon Tribal Council, and admission is free.

In Regina, a Truth and Reconciliation Day walk is being held at the Eagle Heart Centre.

The event starts at 11 a.m. and is in memory of children found buried at residential schools.

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People can donate shoes at the event, and a barbeque will be held after at 2900 5th Avenue at the Family Learning Place.

The Lieutenant Governor for Saskatchewan, Russ Mirasty, will also be holding a public event at 10 a.m. at the Government House on 4607 Dewdney Avenue in Regina.

That event will have a musical performance from Brad Bellegarde, who will be mixing hip-hop music and storytelling.

Mirasty said the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is about remembering, but also looking forward.

“Commonly called Orange Shirt Day, is really to come together and remember what residential schools are about, the impacts, the ongoing impacts, and I guess primarily to remember those children who didn’t get home,” Mirasty said.

“It makes that deep thinking at times, but at the same time we need to look to the future, and we need to encourage young people that there’s a bright future for them.”

A monument was also set up at the Government House to remember residential school survivors.

Read more: Indigenous-led healing program tackling ‘epidemic’ of violence, abuse

YWCA Regina and local artist Lloyd Dubois will be unveiling the Kindship Mural at the Reunification Home at 1855 2nd Avenue North. That event begins at 1:30 p.m.

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Students and community members in Regina had the opportunity to learn more about truth and reconciliation on Thursday, as the Miyo-wîcîwitowin Day was held at Mosaic Stadium.

Performers danced and played music, and the event had a number of notable speakers.

Chief Cadmus Delorme from Cowessess First Nation took the stage and spoke about how important today’s generation was.

He said kids today were the drivers for teaching the truth about Canada’s past and about reconciliation.

“When we learn the truth, just remember that everybody is on a different journey to understanding the truth,” Delorme said.

Gov. Gen. Mary Simon also spoke at the event, emphasizing the importance of working together.

“Education is the key to reconciliation. We must learn about each other, to reach out to different cultures, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike. And it is our shared responsibility to record and teach the true history of Canada,” Simon said.

“Together, let’s engage with the diverse communities that make up our country to create a nation where all young people can take control of their destinies, where they can be who they are, free from judgment.”

Read more: Miyo-wîcîwitowin Day, a Truth and Reconciliation event, held in Regina

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And Chief RoseAnne Archibald from the Assembly of First Nations took the stage, reinforcing the importance of youth today.

“It’s really inspiring to look out and see so many youth, and survivors, and intergenerational trauma survivors gathered here in the spirit of togetherness, understanding and the healing path forward,” Archibald said.

“The time has come for us to move from being survivors to thrivers. And that is your legacy as young people, to move from being survivors to thrivers.”

A legacy piece was also announced at Mosaic Stadium, where an orange seat in the stands was unveiled, which will remain unsold and unseated, reserved for the spirit of those who didn’t get to witness the world today.

MLA Don McMorris was at the event at Mosaic Stadium on Thursday and said the province will not be recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a provincial statutory holiday.

“No, we’re not moving in that direction,” said McMorris.

“Our government has decided not to move on that, but really encourage people to recognize the day, and respect the day. It means so much to so many, and it’s such a part of our history, dark part of our history.”

He said there were many reasons why the province won’t be recognizing it as a provincial statutory holiday.

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“Instead of just kind of isolating it as the orange shirt day, there are many days that you can pause and respect what had gone on with residential schools.”

He said Saskatchewan is a leader for stat holidays among other provinces and said that the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a personal one where you can reflect in your own way.

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