Posted: Monday September 23, 2013
Yesterday, on Sunday, September 22, 2013, tens of thousands of people gathered in downtown Vancouver, BC, to walk in solidarity with the First Nations peoples of Canada and in recognition of the cruelty and neglect suffered by Aboriginal peoples for generations in Canada’s church-run, government-funded residential schools.
The vanguard of the walkers is pictured above, some in traditional dress.
Shelagh Rogers, CBC radio host, announced in her opening remarks that 70,000 people were present (though other estimates of between 10,000 and 50,000 buzzed through the crowd). Whatever the precise number, the effect was significant; multitudes walked together in spite of the chill and the rain in a peaceful act for social change.
The four-kilometre walk concluded a week-long Truth and Reconciliation event, during which the public had the opportunity to learn about First Nations traditions and history, and survivors and witnesses testified to the dark past by offering expressions of reconciliation in various forms (Talon author Bev Sellars, for example, submitted her memoir They Called Me Number One to the TRC archive). Survivors were present, as were countless Canadians committed to peaceful progress. Bernice King, daughter of American civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr., delivered an impassioned speech calling for non-violence and perseverance in the effort to reconcile and repair relationships among the peoples of Canada.
Chloe Filson of Talonbooks walks with Jordan Abel, author of The Place of Scraps . Talon poets Daphne Marlatt and Colin Browne were also spotted among the spirited throng.
More information and photographs are available on Yahoo! Canada News, and Sarah Taguiam of The Province also covered the story.
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