Sept. 30, 2021 communities and groups from around the County and City of Wetaskiwin took time to honour residential school survivors, their families, and communities.
The City of Wetaskiwin closed all of its facilities except for the Manluk Centre for the day and all city employees were encouraged to spend Sept. 30 educating themselves and reflecting on the lasting impacts of the residential school system.
In a statement about Orange Shirt Day and the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, Wetaskiwin Mayor Tyler Gandam said, “Thousands of Indigenous children’s lives were lost as a result of the Residential School System in Canada. The continued confirmation of unmarked graves at many former residential school sites is a devastating reminder to be unwavering in the fact that Every Child Matters.
“Let’s take time today to reflect on and learn from our past to actively create a better and more inclusive future for all our children.”
The Mayor at Ma-Me-O, Alta., Christine Holmes and other Ma-Me-O council members put up signs with Every Child Matters, orange shirts, and orange handprints, around Jubilee Park by the lake.
In the evening, community members were invited to meet at the Wetaskiwin District Heritage Museum to gather for a tribute walk.
In a post to their Facebook page before the event the museum said, “All are invited to the museum for reflection, sharing, and learning in order to honour and value the meaning of ‘Every Child Matters’.”
Those who participated in the walk ended up at the cenotaph beside the City of Wetaskiwin water tower.