PR Interagency plans full day for T&R Sept. 30

Emily Plihal
South Peace News

Peace River Aboriginal Interagency Committee is welcoming the public to participate in an all-day event at Riverfront Park in honour of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30.
Aboriginal Services North administrative assistant Wendy Goulet explains the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was proposed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as one of the 94 Calls to Action.
“The day honours the survivors of the residential school system, their families and communities,” says Goulet. “It is important for everyone to take part in the reconciliation process as it deepens our collective awareness of the true history of Canada and ensures reflection.”
The day will begin at 10 a.m. with a pipe ceremony at St. Augustine Mission. Women are asked to please wear a long skirt to the ceremony. The pipe ceremony will be conducted by Elder Dennis Whitford.
“This is a time to honour the memories of survivors and remember those who did not make it home,” says Goulet. “We wanted to show our communities’ resilience, we are still here.”
At 4 p.m., Every Child Matters Walk will be held from Peace River Museum 10302 99 St. to Riverfront Park.
“Everyone will be walking to honour the survivors and the ones that did not make it home,” says Goulet.
The day will include three keynote speakers beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Riverfront Park.
“Indian Residential School survivor Kathleen Laboucan will be sharing her story of being in St. Bruno’s Indian Residential School in Joussard,” says Goulet. “Steven Cooper is the first generation not to go to Indian Residential School, and Terry Ladue is a second generation.”
Goulet says there will be many things for children to do as Peace River Parent Link and WJS will be providing children’s activities. She also notes a story walk is being provided by Northern Sunrise County Family and Community Social Services.
A free supper of stew and bannock will be provided, prepared by Kokum’s Shack at 6 p.m.
“Chief Billy-Joe Laboucan will be sharing stories,” says Goulet, adding that there will be events for everyone to take part in, including a mini round dance.
“A round dance brings the community together to heal, to honour and celebrate life. A normal round dance goes for hours, not just an hour and a half.”
Workshops will be held from 4-8 p.m. at Riverfront Park. The workshops include Porcupine Earrings (Phonsaey Vossi), Bannock on a Stick, Beading, Bead Red Dress Pin (Jannette Cardinal), Bead Orange Shirt Day Pin (Cecile and Celine Tamarack), Bowl, Game, Dreamcatchers (Shari Robinson), Medicine Bag, Pouches and Metis Beadwork Inspired Dot Art (Pheb Goulet).
In addition, fiddling and other music will be provided by Nathan Cunningham & The Blazin Country Band, and fiddling by Alex Kusturok and Donnie L’Hirondelle.
Sponsors for the day include Clearstreams, CNRL, County of Northern Lights, KFC, New Gen Projects, Town of Peace River and Region 6 Metis Nation of Alberta.
“Everyone is welcome to the event, we want to share our culture,” says Goulet. “Come as you are, orange shirts would be awesome but not mandatory.”

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