As part of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th, a number of events honouring victims and survivors of residential schools are taking place across the City of Grande Prairie.
At 11 a.m., an unveiling ceremony will be held for the first of nine panels at the Veterans Memorial Gardens + Interpretive Centre. Organizers say the panels are meant to help better educate the public about residential schools in the province and the impacts they had on Indigenous and Métis soldiers and their families. ‘
At noon, Grande Prairie Regional College’s On-Campus Friendship Centre and Circle of Indigenous Students will be hosting a discussion on Indian Residential Schools and their intergenerational effects via Zoom with Elder in Residence Loretta Parenteau-English and special guests Omarla Cooke and Jennifer Tourangeau. Registration is online.
At 4 p.m., the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre will be hosting its Every Child Matters five-kilometre walk/run. A $15 registration fee is required to participate with recipients receiving a unique pin and medal. There will be prayers prior to the event.
At 6 p.m., there will be several keynote speakers and an open mic for residential school survivors to share their stories at the Muskoseepi Park Amphitheatre. Some of the speakers include elder Loretta Parenteau-English, Marlene Van Dam, Keisha Larivee, and Virginia Mitchell. The event will also feature a story walk, traditional dancers, Dene Thá drumming, and a song written and performed by Brianna Auger.
A new crosswalk to commemorate victims and survivors of residential schools will also be unveiled on September 30th. The privately funded project at 97 Avenue and 101 Street will add painted orange handprints, in the same vein as those seen in Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit graphics.