The first ever National Truth and Reconciliation day was marked by several locals in Maple Ridge on Sept. 30.
A vigil, organized by the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Katzie Local Immigration Partnership, with Resilience B.C. Spokes, was held at the Memorial Peace Park, from 7-9 p.m.
The event drew a large gathering of people, who came together to honour the lives lost in the residential school system, as well as to stand by the survivors of it.
The event started by observing a minute’s silence, followed by speeches from various guest speakers. Chief Grace George, of the Katzie First Nation welcomed the crowd and remarked over the gathering and the openness to finally taking steps towards correcting the wrongs of the past.
“It’s time for us to come together. Time for us to stand together, just as you are,” she said.
Chief’s husband Damian George also attended the event and even accompanied the chief on stage to play drum.
George was followed by MLA Bob D’Eith with MLA Lisa Beare, Community Network Coordinator Christina Shearme, MP Marc Dalton and Leanne Koehn of the recycling society, gave speeches. Shawn Mohajeri of the Bahai community in Maple Ridge said a prayer for the children who were the victims of the residential schools.
People were then encouraged to walk around, interact with the 94 calls to action that were on display. They were also provided sticky notes to choose what call to action they would like to have addressed and what they would personally like to focus on. People were also asked to write letters to the Indigenous children or write messages on the orange hearts.
A letter-burning ceremony was held following this to conclude the evening wherein, letters with powerful messages were burnt by an Elder from the Katzie First Nation.
Have a story tip? Email: email@example.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.