It was a short walk, but it had a big impact.
Over 100 Edmonton Catholic and public school students braved the rain June 7 and walked from the Sacred Heart Centre school to the Victoria School of the Arts in honour of Reconciliation in Education Day.
The day’s events were organized by both school boards and the City of Edmonton. The walk is part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, one of which is the educating young generations about the harm caused by Canada’s residential school system and the need to promote Indigenous languages and cultures.
Elementary and junior high school students participated in the walk, which began in 2016.
The event also comes just days after the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its final report on June 3. The inquiry called the historical treatment of Indigenous women in Canada a “cultural genocide”.
The event included prayers in Cree and various indigenous musical performances.
Shirley Mykituk, manager of Indigenous Learning Services with the Edmonton Catholic School District, says event shows that young people are dedicated to protecting the traditions of Indigenous people.