For Immediate Release
September 30, 2021
Mikisew Cree First Nation Elders plan a sharing circle to honour residential school survivors and to pay tribute to those who did not make it home on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Fort Chipewyan, AB-Mikisew Cree First Nation members will walk together from the Nunee health centre to the Arbour Centre, which is the site of the former residential school in Fort Chipewyan, in a ceremony of reflection and healing.
The walk will begin at 1 p.m. at the Nunee Health Centre through downtown Fort Chipewyan to the Arbour, which now has become the site of cultural celebrations and gathering for the community. On this day of Truth and Reconciliation, survivors will share stories to heal.
Elder, Alice Martin, remembers her time in a residential school. “I spent 10 years there and I find it hard to remember the trauma. I tried to forget. It’s time to remember to talk about it to honour the souls that did not come home and to heal and to move forward.”
The first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was created as a statutory holiday by Parliament to commemorate publicly the tragic and ongoing impact of residential schools. It coincides with Orange Shirt day that stems from the experience of Phyliss Webstad from Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, who arrived at school wearing an orange shirt, which was taken from her. It has become the symbol of culture and freedoms stripped away from Indiengenouc children for generations.
Chief Peter Powder added, “It’s important to recognize truth and reconciliation today and it should be on our agenda every day. We know there are more atrocities to uncover. We need to move towards healing. As a leader, I‘m working with our Elders in a sharing circle to formulate a long-term goal to make that happen so we ultimately reach true reconciliation.”
Elders will also include an update on plans to search the site of the former residential school site, Holy Angels School, and in the surrounding community to dig for the truth. Lanterns will be released and candles will be lit in the Fort Chipewyan sky at dusk.
For information or to book an interview:
Serena Mah/Media & Communications Consultant
E: firstname.lastname@example.org/M: 780 982 5058/W:www.mikisewcree.ca