Westbank First Nation hosted truth and reconciliation event to recognize pain endured by Indigenous people in residential schools – West Kelowna News
The Westbank First Nation hosted an outdoor rally in honor of the first-ever Truth and Reconciliation Day.
The crowd of people in their orange t-shirts braved the rainy conditions to recognize those who went through the residential school system in Canada and the pain and suffering it has caused to so many.
First, at 2:15 p.m. there was a minute of silence followed by a drumming ceremony and speeches from Indigenous people who told stories such as what the day meant to them and the work they did. there is still work to be done in Canada. Westbank First Nation (y? Lmix? M) Chief Christopher Derickson spoke about some of the issues he would like to see resolved in Aboriginal communities.
“We want a better life, like all Canadians. We want access to affordable housing, clean water, safe places for our families to grow up, and we want our cultures and languages to come back, ”said Chief Derickson.
Derickson also says he has hope in Canadians to build better relationships and become educated about First Nations people.
“I have more hope that Canadians in general are doing the right thing, starting to learn about the past and understand what created this legacy in Canada. We need to move beyond stereotypes and racist remarks or thoughts about who we are and start to understand who we are as a people, ”said Chief Derickson.
While Chief Derickson admitted having a day to honor residential school victims was a good place to start, some provincial governments have chosen not to make Truth and Reconciliation a statutory holiday. This is something he wants to see changed.
“Well, let’s start with this day, and I think it’s time for all provinces to demand that it be a statutory holiday. It puzzles me that it was not implemented immediately, especially in British Columbia where they are committed to reconciliation, yet here we are on the first national day of truth and reconciliation and it is not a provincial holiday, ”explained Chief Derickson.
Chief Derickson said he hopes people leave Thursday’s event with more hope in their hearts and take a moment to think, but most importantly, think about how we can make Canada a best place for everyone.