It was an emotional morning of remembrance at Saskatoon city hall.
Members of Saskatchewan’s indigenous community along with Mayor Charlie Clark and council raised a flag honoring the victims of residential schools.
Wednesday’s ceremony featured speakers including many residential school survivors.
“It’s important what we’re doing today,” said residential school survivor Eugene Arcand, “but it’s also important to remember those 5,000 kids that never made it home.”
The reconciliation flag represents the importance of healing old wounds, while educating others about culture and diversity.
“It’s important that we take steps like this to understand that reconciliation is more than a buzzword,” said Arcand.
“It’s a two-way street and an opportunity for all of us to use this platform of reconciliation to educate our people, all Saskatchewan people, all Canadian people of the true history of this country.”
According to Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark, the city is working to set the tone of reconciliation by training staff on the impacts of residential schools, and maintaining partnerships with the Saskatoon Tribal Council.
“Across the country we’re one of those cities that can really lead the way to figure out what it really means to build reconciliation and walk in partnership and build a community, a city, a province where people can participate fully and live and a good life together,” Clark said.
The flag raising ceremony is part of a month long series of events aimed at promoting reconciliation in Saskatoon and across the province.