Nak’azdli joins Walk for Reconciliation

Nak’azdli joins Walk for Reconciliation

2nd walk through the city streets is an act of support for the spirit of ‘Namwayut’ - We are all one.

On Sunday Sept 24, 2017 Fort St. James First Nation Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief and Council attended the 2017 walk for reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples.

It’s the second time the event has taken place in Coast Salish Territory, Vancouver. The inaugural Walk for Reconcilliation was in 2013. It is estimated over 50,000 people joined in walking for the cause.

“It is all about raising awareness of what reconciliation means.” says Carrier Sekani Tribal Chief, Terry Teegee speaking to the Caledonia Courier. “Many Nakazdli members other Carrier Sekani members were in the march. We come together to challenge the future!”

The Walk for Reconciliation is described as a positive movement to build better relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians. The act of walking and sharing stories of people who lived through the cultural genocide of the residential school system is a way to promote healing and join everyone in a commitment to create a new way forward for reconciliation.

”This bold vision calls on everyone of all ages, all backgrounds, all cultures and all faiths to come together as communities and as individuals,” says the website reconciliationcanada.ca

Reconciliation Canada Ambassador, Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, said this walk is about building on the progress that has been made in the four years since the TRC report. Joseph said that since the first walk in 2013, the country has seen a major shift in the national consciousness, sparking new discussions on Aboriginal issues.

But despite that progress, he says, “We need to elevate the condition of the lives of Aboriginal people in this country, because there’s such a huge, huge disparity.”

“We hear about it every day: the poverty and despair and suicide and brokenness. The unemployment. And all of the things that are required to bring us up to the same level as all other Canadians, with respect to living conditions.”

Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould thanked the crowd for promoting reconciliation.

Musqueam First Nation Chief Wayne Sparrow, who also participated, said he was grateful to all Canadians who have helped drive the conversation forward, for showing up and for passing that information on. Sparrow highlighted the efforts of Canadians, especially in comparison to our neighbours to the South. “See what Trump is doing in the U.S. and how he’s separating them and how our government is bringing everybody together.”

“It’s going to take all of us making an effort to understand our history, why we got to the positions that we’re in, and more importantly, what we need to do to move forward together,” says Joseph in an interview with other media.

Changing the way most Canadians understand the country’s history and relationship with Indigenous peoples will help make the big changes that still need to happen, Joseph said, acknowledging that there is still work that needs to be done in addressing rights and titles issues, honouring treaties, and raising living standards for First Nations.

 

Nak’azdli Whut’en represented at the 2017 Walk for Reconciliation in Vancouver.                                Photo submitted

Nak’azdli Whut’en represented at the 2017 Walk for Reconciliation in Vancouver. Photo submitted

Nak’azdli Whut’en represented at the 2017 Walk for Reconciliation in Vancouver.                                Photo submitted

Nak’azdli Whut’en represented at the 2017 Walk for Reconciliation in Vancouver. Photo submitted

Nak’azdli Whut’en represented at the 2017 Walk for Reconciliation in Vancouver.                                Photo submitted

Nak’azdli Whut’en represented at the 2017 Walk for Reconciliation in Vancouver. Photo submitted