Plans are in place in Quesnel to celebrate Canada’s first National Truth and Reconciliation Day, although those plans have been impacted by COVID.
Tony Goulet, the Executive Director of the Quesnel Tillicum Society, says there will no longer be a formal gathering in Lebourdais Park.
“It’s going to be that if individuals want to go down to the memorial, have a moment of silence, some flowers are left, there will be some tobacco ties to just remember and reflect. It will be all throughout the day, there won’t be any specific time that there is a gathering at the park.”
Goulet says the Friendship Centre will still be doing a traditional lunch with stew and bannock between 12 and 1-30, but he says COVID protocols will be in place.
He says this day means a lot to Indigenous people.
“It’s a step, it’s a start, it’s a real start for truth and reconciliation. It’s great for me, it gets out there and says we’re in this together and we should be learning together as we talk about the residential schools, and as we talk about how we move forward with the calls to action.”
Goulet says he doesn’t want to lose the momentum because of COVID.
He quotes Phyllis Webstad in saying it’s a day to learn and listen, and to open your hearts and minds to the stories of residential school survivors.
The City of Quesnel will be recognizing National Truth and Reconciliation Day as well, by turning the lights on the foot bridge orange.