Truth and reconciliation are weighty words.
Both can take decades, centuries, many lifetimes to achieve or even just work through.
That is why Sept. 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, is such an important day. For some it is a marker on a long journey to grapple with what has happened to them, their parents and their grandparents. For others it is just the beginning of learning about what has happened to Canada’s Indigenous.
With the discovery of thousands of buried residential school children’s bodies this year, the history of Canada’s Indigenous people has become clearer, irrefutable. It is a horror to think about children being forcibly taken from their parents, only to be abused, made to feel ashamed of their language and culture and neglected to the point of dying, under the guise of education.
Council recognized a need to address Truth and Reconciliation and through their investigation on how to proceed a disturbing fact was uncovered.
Despite more than a thousand Indigenous people living in Cochrane and the Stoney Nakoda Nation just a half-hour drive away, Indigenous people said they do not see themselves represented in the town.
That is why the raising of the Every Child Matters flag at the Cochrane RancheHouse and every other Indigenous-related event that occurs over the next few days, weeks and months matter. Representation alongside other Albertans and Canadians is vital.
You cannot be heard if you are not seen.
National Truth and Reconciliation Day is a time for listening, learning, acknowledging, hearing other people’s truth and finding a path to reconciliation together.
Some are criticizing the Town and companies for taking another paid day off. But Truth and Reconciliation Day is hardly a day off. It is a day for some of the hardest work Canadians have to do and it has only just started.