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Editorial: History must be our teacher

It’s not always an easy journey, but if we look to the past for lessons, and we are willing to work together it can be achieved.
brick mill
The old brick flour mill is part of local history in Yorkton. (File Photo)

YORKTON - It’s a historically interesting week in our city. 

This evening (Wednesday) a supper will be held as a fundraiser for the Yorkton Brick Mill Heritage Society.  

While the speaker Sara Shymko, Exec Director of Agriculture in the Classroom is likely to focus on the need to engage youth in terms of knowing about agriculture, behind the event is of course the desire to preserve the history that is the old mill. 

And with the bricks and mortar of the mill comes the ability to preserve both local history, and in particular the significance of farm history to the community. 

Jump forward to Saturday, and the local Alexander Ross branch of the Royal Canadian Legion will be holding its official kick-off to the banners commemorating past service personnel. 

The annual banner installation is a lead-up to Remembrance Day, and we know how important that day is to remember the horrible impact of war, and how in remembering we should learn to avoid such conflicts whenever possible. Sadly, it is a lesson our world refuses to take to heart as we see in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and how that conflict is impacting people not just in Ukraine, but family and friends right here in our area. 

While war remains an all too regular an occurrence in our world it doesn’t change that it is important we remember the history of those Canadians who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country. 

And right in the middle of the two events mentioned will be local efforts to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. 

The Yorkton Tribal Council will be holding a walk Friday morning, with speakers planned for City Centre Park in the afternoon. 

The day is a solemn affair in the sense that the history it reflects on is a truly ugly chapter in Canada’s history. Far too-many tales of true horror have come out in regards to how First Nation’s youth were treated in residential schools, and the impact of those abuses that still have a rippling effect in the lives of individuals and families. 

But, as deplorable as the abuses were, it does not mean we should sweep them into a closet and ignore they happened. 

History has happened, and whether it was good, or bad, we should take it as a lesson to move forward from. 

We as a country – all of us – need to reconcile the past and grow together for the good of our children and country. 

It’s not always an easy journey, but if we look to the past for lessons, and we are willing to work together it can be achieved. 

That is what history is, a teacher, if we are willing to learn its lessons.