Walkers complete emotional journey to Honour Residential School Survivors
Walkers from Fox Lake Cree Nation left Gillam, Manitoba on September 18th and have arrived safely in Winnipeg. Along the way, they were joined by walkers from York Factory First Nation and Tataskweyak Cree Nation. The group will be heading to the Manitoba Legislative Building on September 30, 2021, for Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The walkers, including leadership, residential school survivors, and youth from the three communities are honouring residential school survivors and the thousands of Indigenous children who never made it home and continue to be found in unmarked graves at residential school sites across Canada.
“This has been an emotional journey for all of us,” said Councillor Sophie Lockhart, who initiated the walk. “I want to thank the team that helped bring it all together and made it possible through the collective effort of our people and our communities. People really stepped up. Everyone from the planners, the walkers, the drivers, the donors, to the communities that supported us along the way were important to making this all happen.”
The walkers will be leaving the Victoria Inn on September 30, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. to complete the final leg of their journey to the Manitoba Legislature, where there will be counselling and cultural supports. They will be joined by Elders and residential school survivors who were unable to walk and are some of the first children to be taken away from their communities to attend residential school.
“Our communities are calling for increased addictions and treatment supports in Northern Manitoba. For too long, supports and funding have been concentrated in the South. Survivors and their families suffering from the intergenerational effects of the residential school system should not have to again be taken away from community and culture to get the treatment they need,” concluded Chief Morris Beardy, Fox Lake Cree Nation.
Everyone is welcome to join the walkers and the communities at the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative grounds on September 30, 2021.