On Canada’s first-ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a North Vancouver community is marking the day with a healing walk to the site of a former residential school.
The Tsleil-Waututh nation is walking 8.5 km from their headquarters down Dollarton to St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Secondary School on Thursday, September 30.
The private school is where St. Paul’s Residential School, which operated from 1899 to 1959 used to be.
According to a release, the purpose of the community pilgrimage, including Tsleil-Waututh family members from Musqueam and Squamish, is to create healing for their community.
“Those taking part will be remembering and honouring the children who attended St. Paul’s Residential School and who did not return home,” said the nation in a release.
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“Many of our community members will be walking the actual path that their relatives took every day to “school.” As a way to honour those children and retrace their steps, Residential and Day School Survivors and their families will participate in this walk,” said the release.
The nation is inviting the public to join and create a wall of protection, lining up along 3rd Street and Cotton Road by the Park and Tilford complex in North Vancouver.
“This is not history, this is the legacy of the relationship between Canada and Indigenous people that spanned hundreds of years up until 1996, the effects of which we see today,” said cultural leader Gabriel George.
You can make a donation to Residential and Day School Survivors in the Tsleil-Waututh community online.