Remembrance and reflection: Canada Day has new meaning for residential school survivor

As Canadians mark the country's 154th birthday, Nova Scotia residential school survivor Yvonne Meunier says Canada Day this year is all about reflection for her family.

"I don’t know if I’d ever want to celebrate Canada Day again to tell you the truth. I think I’ll reflect more on my history and my culture," says Meunier, who attended Shubenacadie Residential School.

Meunier says as the number of unmarked graves found near former residential schools in Canada grows, so does the pain.

"My heart is broken and it’s very heavy right now and I will certainly be praying every step that I walk today for all of those missing and those babies that were found," she says.

Flags were at half-mast outside the Heritage Park in Membertou as hundreds of people took to the streets of Sydney Thursday afternoon, walking in memory of the children who never made it home.

"We can make history from here on out. We can make history by everyone coming together, by everyone learning about one another, that’s what we need to do today," says Jeff Ward, general manager of the Heritage Park.

Ward is thankful his mother survived her experience and says that's how delicate and serious this issue is.

“I wouldn’t be here if something happened to her, if something happened to my grandfather, I wouldn’t be here. My son wouldn’t be here," says Ward.

Meunier says she challenges everyone in this country to learn more about truth and reconciliation and to become more educated about what has happened.