Canada marked its second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Friday to honor Indigenous child victims of residential schools, but much work remains to be done, including finding unmarked graves.
At least 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were torn from their families from 1831 to 1998 to attend residential schools across the country.
Many gatherings are therefore organized during the day in Canada and Quebec for the memory of the survivors and those who could not return home.
According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, this is an “opportunity to come together to reflect on the legacy of residential schools and their enduring impact on survivors, their families, and their communities.”
The Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Mr. Trudeau was also expected early in the morning in the Niagara region, in Ontario, to attend a sunrise ceremony and a circle of sharing with survivors. He must then go to Ottawa to take part in the ceremony organized at Plaines-LeBreton Park.
A schedule that is therefore very busy after the controversy of last year, when the Prime Minister had decided to go on leave with his family on the country's first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
“We will continue the painful but necessary task of finding unmarked graves and we will help Survivors share their stories, including through the efforts of the Independent Special Focal Point for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burials, Kimberly Murray, who was appointed last June,” he said.
Underlining the work still to be done, Governor General Mary Simon – who is the first Indigenous person appointed to this position – s has been said to be a “witness to truth and reconciliation in action” in the past year.
“Reconciliation requires acknowledging the suffering inflicted by residential schools and remembering children who never returned home. But it also consists of celebrating positive cultural events,” she underlined.
As for the Belle Province, the outgoing Prime Minister François Legault must go in the morning to Saint-Marc-de -Figuery, in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, for a commemoration activity at the former boarding school.
Québec solidaire co-spokesperson, Manon Massé, will be present at the same place a few hours later.< /p>
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128