Regina was filled with events commemorating National Indigenous Peoples Day on Tuesday.
Many of the events were in the spirit of education and celebration, such as the collaborative art project at the RCMP Heritage Centre, set to the theme of the seven grandfather teachings.
Or the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Network event at Victoria Park and City Square Plaza, which was meant to celebrate and recognize the day and it all it stands for.
Other events were more solemn in nature, such as the dedication ceremony for the Saskatchewan Residential School Memorial on the grounds of Government House in Regina.
The memorial was created alongside elders and survivors of the residential school system in Canada, to ensure traditional practices were honoured, according to a news release from the provincial government.
I deeply appreciate the discussions I have had with Elders, knowledge keepers, survivors and their families, Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty said during the ceremony.
The memorials design is entirely based on these discussions, and we have taken care to respect traditional protocols throughout the process. The memorial is more than the physical elements. It is a spiritual place where survivors and families can honour the children, and where our community can come together to learn and heal.
The construction of the memorial fulfills the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRC) Call to Action #82, which recommends: “installing a publicly accessible, highly visible, residential school memorial in each capital city to honour survivors and all the children who were lost to their families and communities.”
Approximately 150,000 Indigenous children were removed and separated from their families and communities to attend residential schools.
The TRC estimates that 20 federally operated residential schools operated in Saskatchewan during the 1880s to the 1990s.