Hundreds turned out for a reconciliation walk in Fernie on Canada Day in 2021. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Hundreds turned out for a reconciliation walk in Fernie on Canada Day in 2021. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Fernie’s July 1 to be focused on Indigenous Reconciliation

Instead of Canada Day celebrations, Fernie will host a walk and festivities around Indigenous Reconcilliation and ceremony

Canada Day in Fernie will be given over to Indigenous Reconciliation for a second year.

Like last year, the community will host a reconciliation walk lead by leaders from the Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ‘it First Nation and the City of Fernie, with a ceremonial flag raising.

The walk will be leaving from city hall at 10am on July 1, with a route direct to the Aquatic Centre.

From 10am through the walk to the Aquatic Centre the focus will be on reconciliation, and upon arriving at the Aquatic Centre the event will switch to a ceremonial component with a traditional drum group from Tobacco Plains.

According to Fernie Mayor Ange Qualizza, the city has organised with the Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ‘it for there to be a day of festivities celebrating Indigenous culture and history.

“It’s going to be a really touching event on year two, and I really look forward to it,” said Mayor Qualizza at the June 13 council meeting. “I’m always thankful for Nasukin (Heidi) Gravelle’s commitment to Fernie and reconciliation, and making July 1st mean something.”

The City of Fernie made Indigenous reconciliation a major focal point of Canada Day events starting last year, following the discovery of children’s remains at the former Kamloops residential school, which triggered nation-wide discussion on the need for reconciliation.

Many communities across Canada cancelled or changed Canada Day celebrations in 2021 as a result of those discoveries, and at the time Mayor Qualizza said she intended for Indigenous Reconciliation to become a permanent part of July 1 going forward for the City of Fernie.

READ MORE: Canada Day to feature reconciliation walk in Fernie (2021 story)

READ MORE: Fernie wears orange for Canada Day



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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