A huge turnout for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Campbell River today (Sept. 30), as Laichwiltach Family Life Society hosted its fifth annual Every Child Matters Orange Shirt Day Walk.
Hundreds gathered to honour Indigenous residential school survivors, their families and communities, on a day recognizing a tragic history of loss and the lasting impacts of Canada’s residential school system.
An opening prayer, Welcome Song, walk through downtown, and more highlighted the day’s schedule. As well, Namgis First Nation Chief Wedlidi Speck was this year’s keynote speaker, with various others addressing the crowd, including We Wai Kum Chief Chris Roberts.
“I can’t say enough how good it feels to be here with my Brothers, singing,” Roberts said in an emotional speech.
He continued, “Thank you so much to all the survivors for having the strength to come out here today. There’s lots of hard work to do, this is just the beginning. And I thank all the people that came out here today to be a part of it.”
Laichwiltach Society executive director Audrey Wilson also spoke, encouraging people to visit the ‘Witness Blanket’ exhibit. The art installation that features hundreds of items reclaimed from residential schools can be viewed now until Oct. 30th at Laichwiltach Family Life Society on Fourth Ave.
Photos: Ethan Morneau, Vista Radio staff