Thousands of people gather in Victoria Park for the Turtle Island Healing Walk in London, Ontario. – London

A sea of ​​oranges gathered at Victoria Park on July 1 to support the Indigenous community. Thousands of people participated in the second annual Turtle Island Healing Walk, a walk to honor the survivors and lives lost of Canada’s Indian residential school system.

« It’s amazing, » said walk director Elyssa Rose, whose spiritual name is Little Thunder Woman. “I didn’t really know what to expect. I really hoped that our loved ones and our communities were here, and whoever could come. I’m really honored to see how many people showed up today.

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Of the 10,000 people who attended last year, many have returned. This includes Brian Loubert and his wife, Deb.

“We came last year and I followed the residential school issue for almost 18 to 19 years,” Loubert said. “When I studied Canadian history in school, I was very proud of our Aboriginal culture. Finding out how they were misled by the government and all their factions and institutions was very disheartening.

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Lila Bruyère, a residential school survivor, spoke at the event Friday morning.

“I think of the children,” Bruyère said. “I knew about the children, as a survivor, who were going to St. Margaret’s residential school. We were told about the children. But if we talked about it, we were silenced and they denied it.

As a survivor, Bruyere spoke of being offered a paid trip to see the pope. But it wasn’t something that interested him.

“I don’t need to ask anyone to apologize to me. They have to come see me.

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Now, Rose hopes the annual walk will continue to have an impact on the London community.

« [I hope] he continues to create space for our communities, our loved ones, our survivors, to have that space and time to be able to grieve, to heal, but also to be supported by our allies and supporters across the city.

Rose warmly thanks everyone who came out and supported the Aboriginal community.

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