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FORT ST. JOHN, BC – Fort St. John community members headed to festival plaza to honour truth and reconciliation at the Every Child Matters walk and barbecue.
Most people present showed their support by wearing orange t-shirts.
Before the walk, Doig River First Nation councilor, Garry Oker, said a prayer and drummed impactful, traditional songs with his drumming group.
For Oker, the event was about healing and forgiveness.
“Forgiveness is the most important thing, and I think the main thing about healing is to forgive,” said Oker.
“We’ve got to forgive ourselves. Whatever it is. If we’re wounded, we need to forgive that woundedness in ourselves and move forward.”
Oker would like to see Indigenous and non-Indigenous people come together to support and learn from each other on a regular basis.
“It’s learning, education and sharing. We encourage people just to participate, and walk with us and do things with us,” said Oker.
“Just like the walk that’s taking place right now. That is the beginning of the journey.”
Treaty 8 Tribal Association executive director Marlene Roy said she was excited to see so many people at the event.
“I think we had a really good turnout,” said Roy.
“It’s good to see everyone coming together and recognizing what today means. We want to teach everyone our culture and we want everyone to love our culture. We don’t have anything to hide anymore and we just want to share.”
Both Roy and Oker invite and encourage the public to head to Taylor Community Hall for a feast and round dance this evening, beginning at 5:00 p.m.
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