Walk in the Spirit of Reconciliation
Mennonite Central Committee BC honoured National Indigenous History Month by co-hosting the annual Walk in the Spirit of Reconciliation event, May 31 to June 2.
On Friday evening, May 31, just over 100 people gathered at various Fort Langley churches and walked to the Kwantlen First Nations’ Longhouse. There, the walkers were generously welcomed with drumming and singing by Indigenous elders, including Kwantlen Hereditary Chief, Marilyn Gabriel and her family. Followed by a delicious salmon meal and stories from the Director of the Kwantlen Cultural Centre, Joseph A. Dandurand.
The walk continued Saturday morning, June 1. A group of walkers walked along the Trans Canada Trail for 19 kilometres towards Mission in a symbolic walk of solidarity with Residential School Survivors, many of whom experienced abuse and tremendous loss when they were taken from their families and lands to go to school.
Sunday, June 2 (the 4th anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation’s final report), over 50 walkers completed their journey when they arrived at the site of the former St. Mary’s residential school. They went on a tour led by Sonny McHalsie, Sto:lo Nation Historian, learning about the residential school history. This was followed by an experiential KAIROS blanket exercise lead by Patti Victor, Cheam First Nation elder and ended with a delicious meal giving space for Indigenous and settlers to learn more about each other.
This was the 4th annual Walk in the Spirit of Reconciliation and there are plans to walk again next Spring. The walk was put on by Mennonite Church BC, Anglican Church of Canada, United Churches of Langley, Willoughby Church, the Christian Reformed Church and Mennonite Central Committee.