Flag of reconciliation flies in Saskatoon
- EFN Staff | July 08, 2018
Reconciliation Saskatoon recently held a reconciliation flag raising ceremony to honour residential school and Sixties Scoop survivors and the lives that were lost.
“Looking back at what happened to us in residential schools - the loss of culture and language, the physical, sexual and mental abuse, the blatant racism we experienced – this ceremony is incredibly important to me and for all the survivors,” said Elder and residential school survivor Frank Badger in a media release. “By going back to our roots and celebrating our culture, language and traditions, we are making our way back to who we once were as proud First Nation, Inuit and Métis people. We are teaching our ways to the generation today and those yet to be born, and we will show our children that no one will ever experience this dark time again.”
Mayor Charlie Clark said there is a there is a tremendous effort underway in Saskatoon throughout the community to work towards reconciliation and to create a stronger Treaty relationship.
“By honouring survivors and keeping the next generations top of mind, over 80 non-profits, businesses, institutions, and faith communities have been making a positive change in our community through the work of Reconciliation Saskatoon,” he said. “It is remarkable to see such a strong community-wide support for this important work as we raise the Reconciliation Saskatoon flag this morning and recommit ourselves to a stronger community.”
Reconciliation Saskatoon consists of 88-member organizations such as the City of Saskatoon, Office of the Treaty Commissioner, Saskatoon Tribal Council, Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. along with 84 business and community organization members. Reconciliation Saskatoon and members of the community gathered on May 29th in Civic Square outside City Hall to raise the Reconciliation flag in honour of Indian residential school and Sixties Scoop survivors.
Don Ewles, the Grants and Communications Manager of Saskatoon Community Foundation, said the reconciliation flag raising was a symbolic moment to bring people together.
“It was a great moment for people to stand shoulder to shoulder…to say Saskatoon is a community that believes in reconciliation,” said Ewles. “[The flag raising] was a great day and a great opportunity to come out together and hear many different voices and see the beauty of Indigenous culture. [It’s a reminder] that we’re stronger and richer when we recognize each other’s value and we work together to create a better and more inclusive community.”
Shirley Isbister, President, Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. said reconciliation is a shared journey which begins with each and every one of us.
“It’s important for us to provide opportunities like the Flag Raising Ceremony and the Rock Your Roots walk to help people explore the meaning of reconciliation and respond to the Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action,” she said.
On June 20, there was an official unveiling ceremony for a reconciliation art project called the Coming Spring in Victoria Park. The following day, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, the third annual “Rock Your Roots” Walk for Reconciliation was celebrated in the City of Bridges.