Fernie gathers to reconcile

Fernie came together for Indigenous Reconciliation events on July 1 2022. (All images by Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)Fernie came together for Indigenous Reconciliation events on July 1 2022. (All images by Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Mayor Ange Qualizza at Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Chief Heidi Gravelle at Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Hundreds walked from City Hall to the Aquatic Centre on Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Canada Day / Indigenous Reconciliation events 2022. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Fernie came together for a second annual reconciliation walk Canada day events.

Locals dressed in orange and came down to City Hall to hear remarks from Chief Heidi Gravelle and Councillor Kyle Shottanana of Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡiʾit, and Mayor Ange Qualizza of the City of Fernie ahead of the walk to the Aquatic Centre for community celebrations.

Gravelle and Shottanana talked of the need for education, awareness and patience when it came to reconciliation, with Shottanana saying that “reconciliation has to be spiritually rooted in order to heal.”

“Healing is key to reconciliation. True reconciliation is not cheap, for it is based on forgiveness which is costly.”

Chief Gravelle said that while Canada Day was not a celebration for Indigenous Peoples – but rather a reminder of what has happened to them – she said the Indigenous community wanted to put their best foot forward.

“Today we gather to reconcile … at the end of the day we have to move forward,” she said.

“We have to acknowledge, accept, and honour the past and what was done to Indigenous people in our land.”

Gravelle said that only through education and awareness, could change, reconciliation and healing take place, saying that so far reconciliation had been little but pieces of paper.

“Until actions happen and are implemented on a daily basis, we’re not going to see change.”

Community leaders lead a Reconciliation Walk from City Hall to the Fernie Aquatic Centre, where traditional dancers from the Blood Tribe of Alberta showcased their talent amid a flurry of bright and elaborate dress. The audience was invited to join in for a round dance, with two circles of people joining hands to dance to traditional drumming.

Community events for the day included the Mountain Market, a bike parade and kids activities.

This was the second year that Canada Day events in Canada have been given over largely to Indigenous Reconciliation, with community leaders making an effort to make reconciliation an integral, and permanent part of any July 1 events going forward. Canada Day 2022 comes a little over a year after unmarked graves were first discovered at the former residential school in Kamloops.

READ MORE: Local First Nations celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Canada DayIndigenous reconcilliation