Walk for Reconciliation in Montreal
Almost a thousand people marched through the city on National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
A significant number of individuals are unaware
The struggles that our people have endured over multiple generations. But that’s starting to change, and that’s what’s essential on this day,” said Steve McComber of the Mohawk Nation, who hopes that the march can help shift attitudes of the indigenous peoples of North America.
Across the country, various marches and festivities took place on Friday, in honor of indigenous peoples. Last year, the Government of Canada proclaimed the day a statutory holiday. Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer, Grand Chief of Kahnawake, hopes that the day can help educate and discuss what happened, especially with residential schools.
“It tears your heart to know that we had to go through this because of who we were. We are here to recognize the traumas and to support each other,” she stated She also highlighted that till now, indigenous tribes are often poor, and have to live with the intergenerational scars of these “atrocities”.
Although the Day is a public holiday in Canada, it is not recognized by the Government of Quebec.
Perhaps one day finally Quebec will be ready to designate it a holiday, from the moment it recognizes systematic racism,” hoped Lucie Catherine Ouimet of the Anishnaabe nation.
The march began at the foot of Mount Royal, terminating at Place du Canada, where, until it was unbolted, stood the statue of John A. Macdonald, the first prime minister of Canada denounced for the policy he carried out against the Aboriginal peoples.
A few political leaders also took part, notably Chantal Rouleau, the minister responsible for the Montreal region.
Reconciliation is necessary. We are all deeply saddened by what happened and we want to demonstrate all our unity, ”she explained. However, she noted that the concept of making the day a public holiday “is not currently being discussed.
There were some elected representatives from Projet Montréal there, as well as Alia Hassan-Cournol, who is in charge of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples for the City of Montreal. Aref Salem, the leader of the opposition party Ensemble Montréal, was also present at the event. Other elected politicians from the party were also there.
It is essential that we hear what those who have survived and those who are of First Nations descent have to say. Every day is an opportunity for reconciliation. Ms. Hassan-Cournol elucidated that it returns everything to its proper location.
She also mentioned that for “the first time in history,” the survivors’ flag is flying in Montreal City Hall. This is a significant event. “Even though it’s only symbolic, it’s very essential. “While it is a day for reflection, it is also an opportunity to think for the years to come,” she went on to say.
Many individuals came out to show their support for the Aboriginal communities by participating in the march, in addition to the residents of the Aboriginal communities themselves.
They are the original inhabitants. They are completely dependent on us. For example, Robert stated, “I believe that it is very important to remember the pain that they went through.
We have come to listen to what they have to say. Indira disclosed that every one of us needs to ask ourselves what we can do in our day-to-day lives in order to become involved.