Whistler completes Truth and Reconciliation Crosswalk
On September 30, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) will mark the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation (NDTR) to honour the survivors and intergenerational survivors of the Indian Residential School System.
Flags will be lowered to half-mast at municipal facilities, the Fitzsimmons Bridge lit orange and the RMOW will support the Squamish L̓il̓wat Cultural Centre’s (SLCC) NDTR programming, a curation of self-guided tours, cultural sharing, crafts, exhibitions, artist talks and guests speakers.
“National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is a time of reflection, learning and contemplation of our own roles in advancing reconciliation,” says Mayor Jack Crompton. “There is a place for each of us in this journey to reconcile our shared past. Explore the deep history of the Shared Territories, take advantage of cultural training and visit the SLCC for an immersive learning experience. Together, let’s support the healing of those impacted by the injustices of the colonial and the residential school systems.”
Admission to the SLCC is free, with the support from CIBC and the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
This month, the RMOW is also completing a Truth and Reconciliation Crosswalk at the corner of Blackcomb Way and Lorimer Road, adjacent to the SLCC. The orange crosswalk honours the survivors and intergenerational survivors of the Indian Residential School System, the children who never came home, their families and communities. It features seven white feathers to represent the Seven Grandfather Teachings of Love, Respect, Bravery, Truth, Honesty, Humility and Wisdom. The feather design was created by artist Tmícwts'a7 Irene Terry Peters who is an SLCC Ambassador and graduate of the Indigenous Youth Ambassador program.
“The crosswalk is a beacon that signals our acknowledgement of the past and our commitment to an equitable shared future. For those who may not be aware of our past, I hope this installment will pique curiosity and draw them into this shared reconciliation journey with us," says Crompton.
The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is a federal statutory holiday proposed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada 94 Calls to Action. ‘Action 80’ calls upon the federal government, in collaboration with Indigenous peoples, to establish a statutory holiday “to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
‘Action 57’ calls upon all levels of government to provide education to public servants on the history of Indigenous people, “including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations.” This summer, municipal staff completed the first of a series of cultural competency courses and anti-racism training.
For more information about the SLCC and a schedule of events visit slcc.ca/NDTR. Admission is free from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As a reminder, Municipal Hall will be closed on September 30 to observe National Truth and Reconciliation Day.
To learn more about the Shared Territories of L̓il̓wat Nation and Squamish Nation, visit whistler.ca/SharedTerritories.