We Are All Treaty People

The OTC Honours Survivors on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

  • Published - 03/10/2023
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  • Posted By - OTC
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On the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Office of the Treaty Commissioner team went into different communities wearing orange to be with others as we honoured survivors, their families, and those who never came home.

The Treaty Commissioner of Saskatchewan, Mary Musqua-Culbertson, travelled and visited through Treaty 4 territory and participated in a Walk for the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

At the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation Truth and Reconciliation Sturgeon Landing Gathering, OTC executive director Angie Merasty spoke about hearing from survivors and honouring their stories, she thanked them all for their sacrifice because many would not be here today if not for them. She spoke about her late father who was part of the Indian Hospitals and contracted TB at a young age. She also spoke about the good work OTC does in educating about truth and reconciliation, research and archives, treaty education, etc. After Angie finished she was able to give to Survivors birthday cards from children at Vanscoy School. These students learned that children in residential school were unable to celebrate their birthdays and wanted to send greetings to do a small part to write those wrongs.

Our director of education, Elaine Sutherland spoke about Indigeneity; Treaties; the Indian Act; Residential School and Intergenerational trauma, at an event with Saskatchewan Polytechnic called Embracing the Circle: Strengthening Indigenous-Newcomer Relations. There was lots of good conversation and questions.

In La Ronge, director of research and archives Sheldon Krasowski spoke at the naming of the main bridge, now called the Reconciliation Bridge. By giving it the name Reconciliation Bridge, it will help bring the tri-communities of La Ronge, Air Ronge, and the Lac La Ronge Indian band together. More than 7,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day, not only local traffic but tourists, workers for the northern mine sites, and trucking companies cross it.

Rhett Sangster, the OTC director of reconciliation and community partnerships, volunteered at the Walk for Reconciliation in Saskatoon by supporting Elders and Survivors. Many others from our office also went out in the cold to join this walk.

Members of the OTC team also were at the Saskatoon Tribal Council powwow, some went to the events at Wanuskewin Heritage Park, and others made the day about consuming information about residential schools and their impacts, including attending 94 Calls to Action: A Round-Table Talk about Truth and Reconciliation in Canada hosted by the Saskatchewan Intercultural Agency.

This day is important to the OTC team, and everyone was so pleased to be part of it, in one way or another. We know that through kindness, patience, and understanding, we can do better, and we have to do better.

It is together that we become stronger and make our Treaty territories a safe and healthy place for all of us. It is about walking together on a journey to create a new, shared future for our children, grandchildren and generations to come.