Today, September 30, is National Day of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.
In Penticton, the Syilx Okanagan Nation hosted a five kilometre "Walk for the Children" Friday morning, from the shores of Okanagan Lake to the Syilx Indian Residential School Nation's monument on En'owkin Trail.
The walk aimed to raise awareness about ongoing trauma and devastation that still stems from the history of Indian Residential Schools in Canada.
"The Province of BC and Government of Canada continue to use the term 'Truth and Reconciliation' as a means for political gain, because it makes them look good. On the ground, we continue to fight and are challenged every day with their colonial bureaucracy and legislation that have profound impacts on our daily lives. All Canadians must hold their government to task and ensure that paths toward both truth and reconciliation take place in a meaningful and lasting manner," said Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel.
"This goes far beyond wearing an orange shirt for a day, but requires consistent direct action. It includes everything from accessible health and wellness services to providing long-term, secure funding to support language and culture revitalization in ways that are clear of bureaucratic tape and provided directly to the people that deserve these services."
The public is welcome to join the Celebration of Indigenous Culture and Resiliency in Gyro Park hosted by the non-profit society, the Four Seasons Cultural Society and supported by the City in Gyro Park at 1 p.m. Friday to celebrate Indigenous culture and resiliency.
Indigenous songs, dances and drumming will take place between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., and the event is free to attend.