Several events will be held in Quesnel tomorrow (Friday) to recognize the Day for National Truth and Reconciliation.
Tony Goulet is the Executive Director of the Quesnel Tillicum Society Native Friendship Centre.
“The Friendship Centre will be open and we’ll be starting at 10, and we’re just going to remember the children and families effected by residential schools. So we’ll have some snacks available and there will be some information on residential schools. There will probably be some survivors.”
Goulet says there will also be an event at Lhtako Dene Park following that, and he says Nazko will be holding an event in the community as well.
This is the second Day for National Truth & Reconciliation, and Goulet says we have made progress.
“You can see it with the amount of people wearing orange shirts, and people asking and saying what is orange shirt day and what is truth and reconciliation, what does that actually mean ? The Indigenous communities are also getting that as well, they’re being asked what is truth and reconciliation and how do we move forward ?”
That said, Goulet says there is still a lot of work to do.
“You look at bringing issues up for the indigenous people, water, housing, all the things that are still out there as well, and I think those are important as we move towards reconciliation. Those are more political issues. When you look at the residential schools and how do we educate all about what has happened so you can understand the implications that they’ve had. I am glad that the schools are starting to do a curriculum for indigenous education, and we’re pushing for that to be local.”
Goulet says in the lead-up to National Truth & Reconciliation Day, he gets a sense of being proud.
“I think there is an absolute sense of that acknowledgement that we’re here, and we’re able to talk about it. And we’re able to remember the children who never made it back from these institutions and be able to talk about that openly, because it’s always been shut down. Indigenous people have just closed off and don’t want to talk about that. I think that they need to tell their story, and I think it’s happening. I think it’s actually improving the relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous people.”
Goulet says tomorrow (Friday) will be another step forward, and he encourages everyone to attend.
“Join us. I think it shows the indigenous community that we’re all in this together. Go out and be part of the discussions and do the learning piece.”