Niagara marks first national Truth and Reconciliation Day

CKTB - NEWS - Truth and Reconciliation Day 2021 St. Catharines

People across Niagara wore orange, gathered, marched, and paid their respects on the first national Truth and Reconciliation Day yesterday.

Events were held across the region, including a Healing Walk involving hundreds of people in Fort Erie hosted by the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre.

In St. Catharines, a group of people spread out across on the front lawn of city hall to listen to special guest speakers share difficult stories and call for change.

Guest speaker Sean Vanderklis challenged all attendees to learn about the history to ensure Indigenous people are not discriminated against in the future. "My challenge to each and every one of you is to learn about the histories, to learn about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the report that was there. And to also take your concerns to your leaders - to your provincial representatives, to your federal representatives."

Just before presenting St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik with an orange Every Child Matters Flag, event MC Karl Dockstader said to the crowd, "I want you to think about what that orange flag represents and I want you to carry those values into your life. Mayor Sendzik, you've done a lot, but there's more that needs to be done. There's so much more work that needs to be done."