The City of Fernie will be welcoming members of the Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ‘it at City Hall for prayer on Thursday as the beginning of a reconciliation walk for Canada Day.
“We ask that you show your support for the Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡI ‘it by being socially distanced along the route as we walk through town,” reads a release from the city.
A ceremony will take place on City Hall grounds at 10am, before a walk through town along 5th Street, 2nd Avenue, 8th Street and 3rd Avenue back to City Hall.
The ceremony is by registration (and is at capacity), and the city requests those wishing to take part in the walk to space themselves along the walking route on 2nd and 3rd Avenues.
Orange t-shirts will be for sale by the Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡI ‘it after the walk on City Hall Grounds. The ceremony and walk will be filmed, with the video available to view afterwards.
Mayor Ange Qualizza said last week that she wanted to make Indigenous reconciliation a permanent part of Canada Day in Fernie going forward.
“Reconciliation isn’t an either or situation, but something we need to keep holding space for,” she said last week.
Last year, Canada Day in Fernie was celebrated from home with a virtual lineup of events – little of which will happen this year, as Canada acknowledges the discovery of 215 children’s remains at the former Kamloops Residential School. In response to the discovery, and amid a nation-wide discussion on reconciliation, many municipalities around British Columbia have chosen to forgo Canada Day events altogether, including Victoria and Penticton.
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