'The truth is coming out': Saskatoon Tribal Council holds march for residential school awareness

More than 200 people wore orange t-shirts Tuesday afternoon and walked downtown alongside the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC).

STC Tribal Chief Mark Arcand says the purpose of the walk is to continue bringing awareness, education and understanding to people on the history of residential schools.

He says he’s proud to see an improvement in the willingness of people in Saskatoon wanting to learn about residential school history.

“I think the truth is coming out with the unmarked graves. It’s a pretty significant piece of history here that wasn’t told before and now there’s facts being said here. This is what I think is opening up people’s eyes,” Arcand told CTV News.

People gathered in the north parking lot at Midtown Plaza and walked 23 blocks downtown and were guided through the streets by members of Saskatoon Police Service and Saskatoon Fire Department.

“It’s not just Indigneous people here, it’s non-Indigenous people here, it’s businesses, it’s school boards, the mayor is coming, the Bishop is coming. So it’s everyone being united, it’s what this province should be proud of,” Arcand said.

“We should all be united on this issue and work together. We want people to stand shoulder to shoulder with us, not behind us, not in front of us but be united and work together.”

While happy with the progress he’s seen, Arcand says there’s still a way to go when it comes to several systems such as incarceration, child and family services, and health care systems.

“Think about how much our residential school survivors suffered ... so for me to get blisters and to walk in flip flops is a small gesture to what they went through.”