More than 500 community members participated in the Truth and Reconciliation Community Walk organized by the Friendship House in Prince Rupert, on Sept. 30.
Two hundred and fifteen laps around the Prince Rupert Middle School was the goal set to recognize the first 215 unmarked graves found at a former residential school in May.
Residential school survivor, Jackie Temple, attended the event held on the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, told The Northern View his brother and sister also attended St. Alberts Residential School in Edmonton for three years.
“I got hit a lot for speaking my language – backhanded across the face. Eventually, I lost all my upper teeth. It wasn’t fun.”
He said while the walk and community efforts help a lot, he became emotional when the walk started as he recalled children who ‘had no chance’.
Julia Smith, whose late father was a residential school survivor, said she had many relatives who attended the schools. The meaning of the walk to her is ‘survival’, she said.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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