Rock Your Roots reconciliation stroll rescheduled for Sept. 30 in Saskatoon – Saskatoon

The Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation has been set for a new date in Saskatoon after it was canceled earlier this summer due to extreme weather.

Originally planned for June 21, the walk will now take place between 10 am and 11:30 am on Sept. 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The walk will begin at Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) and end at the “Where our Paths Cross” Reconciliation Circle installation in Victoria Park.

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Judy Pelly, residential school survivor and organizing member of Rock Your Roots Walk, said the significance of the walk is related to Sunday Walks in residential schools.

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Pelly said this was “often the only time when siblings and cousins ​​of different genders might be reunited.”

“It’s meaningful to see Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples come together in this way,” Pelly added in a city news release.

The walk is put on by Reconciliation Saskatoon, which is co-chaired by the City of Saskatoon and the Office of the Treaty Commissioner.

“Rock Your Roots represents an acknowledgment of the multi-generational impacts of residential schools and a commitment to reconciliation,” said Mayor Charlie Clark.

“It’s a public demonstration of support for residential school attendees and those lost. It’s a promise to work towards a future that affords every member of our community equal opportunity.”

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Click to play video: 'Inmates at BC correctional facility carve totem pole as part of the truth and reconciliation project'

Inmates at BC correctional facility carve totem pole as part of the truth and reconciliation project

Inmates at BC correctional facility carve totem pole as part of the truth and reconciliation project

The event was first held in 2016 and has seen attendance in the thousands.

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The release stated the intention of the event is in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action by “demonstrating a commitment to Reconciliation, honoring Residential School Survivors, and continuing work towards an inclusive community.”

Shirley Isbister, president of CUMFI, said the walk is an inclusive event that welcomes everyone to participate.

“This walk is an opportunity to learn about and honor First Nation and Métis residential school survivors,” Isbister said.

People of all ages are invited to attend alone or as a group. They are also invited to wear their cultural dress or symbols, an Every Child Matters shirt, or any other orange shirt.

Workplaces and other organizations are also encouraged to send a team and invited to bring banners showcasing their organization’s support for reconciliation.

Many schools will also be closed on Sept. 30 for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation so parents are encouraged to bring their children and participate in the event together.

Cultural performers will “rock their roots” at the beginning and end of the walk.

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Saskatoon’s Rock Your Roots walk a step forward in reconciliation

“Rock Your Roots is an opportunity to bring our community together to understand and be educated on residential schools and how they have negatively impacted Indigenous peoples,” said Saskatoon Tribal Chief Mark Arcand.

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“This walk is a symbol of reconciliation and a commitment to change for the better, so that all people can have a good quality of life.”

More information can be found on the Rock Your Roots Facebook page.

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