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Editorial: Learn from past as we move forward

YORKTON - Saturday a march will take place in Yorkton which should have anyone able to participate taking part.
reconciliation walk Yorkton
Truth and Reconciliation Walk Yorkton. (File Photo)

YORKTON - Saturday a march will take place in Yorkton which should have anyone able to participate taking part.

The Yorkton Tribal Council will be hosting the annual The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation walk -- originally and still widely known as Orange Shirt Day.

The day is one where Canadians recognize the legacy of the Canadian Indian residential school system, and continue efforts to forge a better future.

The walk, from the YTC offices on King Street, to City Centre Park cannot change the horrid history of residential schools.

A generation of First Nations children were basically kidnapped by government officials, police and clergy, often literally ripping children from the arms of their families.

Isolated in residential schools, every child was abused, some sexually, some physically, certainly all mentally by clergy and school instructors who tried to strip each youth of their First Nations’ heritage.

It was a dark time in Canada’s history, with reprehensible actions by government, educators, clergy – the people that should have been there to help children.

It was too easy for the government of the day to make truly evil decisions, and too many were willing to carry out the legislation with a heavy hand that too often left residential school survivors with lifelong scars.

It is something we need to remember today. When governments are arrogant enough to make rules and regulations about our children with little public effort to consult on those changes, it can too easily go off the rails.

And the losers will be the children, and they should always be at the forefront with every effort to protect them from bullying, from racism, from fear in being who they are.

We failed a generation of First Nations children putting them at risk. We cannot do that do children again today.

The mere fact we today speak of former residential school students as survivors speaks volumes about what they faced.

So there is much to overcome, deep scars to heal.

It starts with recognizing the wrongs of the past.

The walk Saturday is part of that process to hopefully continue building the foundation of a better shared tomorrow.


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