REGINA — Regina residents concluded the first National Truth & Reconciliation Day on the front lawn of the Legislative Building,
The impromptu event was organized by a group of teens in the city, with a poster circulating social media and inviting the community to get together.
Co-organizer Montana Nistor said she and her friends wanted to hold something on the Legislative building’s grounds Thursday, as a message to the provincial government about the importance of the day.
Deviating from decisions made by both the federal government and City of Regina, the provincial government did not declare Sept. 30 a statutory holiday in Saskatchewan.
“We still had school and other people still had work, but for some people, it was a paid holiday,” said Nistor.
She said members of the community feel as though more effort should have been made to declare the day stat holiday, in the same way Family Day was added to the provincial calendar.
“We just wanted to come sing here and show them we still have our voices, to use our voice and show them we're still here,” said Nistor.
Hundreds gathered throughout the evening, joining a group of drummers, dancers and singers for a round dance, first in front of the Legislature steps and then on the west lawn.
Some attendees brought items to place with the memorial to residential school victims still covering part of the building’s entry steps, including candles, stuffed animals and posters.
Nistor said the event’s details were shared incredibly fast around social media circles, and the group was impressed to hear from so many singers and dancers wanting to take part.
“It just makes me feel good,” she said, of the turnout. “I always want to be able to use my voice and educate people.”