Story and photos by Paula E. Kirman
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The grounds of the Alberta Legislature are usually a sea of red and white on July 1 with celebrations for Canada Day taking place. This year, however, those grounds were a sea of orange, with calls to cancel Canada Day in the wake of the location of the remains of many hundreds of children in unmarked graves at the sites of former residential schools across the country.
About 1,000 people, most of them wearing orange shirts, took part in the Every Child Matters rally and march today. The event was intended to “raise awareness about the residential school system, the victims, and survivors of Canada.”
Attendees braved the unprecedented heatwave and sat throughout the south Legislature lawn, many opting for the precious shade as temperatures reached into the high 30s. A two-hour program of speakers, singers, and drummers was followed by a march through the downtown area to Sir Winston Churchill Square.
Every Child Matters was one of several events held in commemoration of residential school survivors and victims in Edmonton. They included a march down Whyte Avenue and a powwow flash mob. There were also marches and rallies in other cities across the country.
24 Hour Crisis Line for Indian Residential School Survivors and Family: 1-866-925-4419