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'Reconciliation, it's here to stay': Lethbridge kicks off Truth and Reconciliation week

The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is on Friday, but many organization in Lethbridge are using the whole week to recognize the event. The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is on Friday, but many organization in Lethbridge are using the whole week to recognize the event.

This Friday marks the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

However, organizations and groups across Lethbridge, including the City of Lethbridge, were getting things started Monday.

Lethbridge's second annual Truth and Reconciliation week began with drumming, prayers and the raising of the Every Child Matters flag at the Lethbridge public school division building.

"What we're trying to do, our ultimate goal with this, is to build trust and relationships between the two communities where our indigenous people are feeling comfortable within our schools," said Joel Tailfeathers, the school divisions’ coordinator of Indigenous learning.

The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is this Friday, named in honour of the victims and survivors of residential schools as well as their families and communities.

"It's about time that we're doing this and moving forward," said Tailfeathers.

"I really look forward to an important job that not only I have, but our Indigenous team has, our school division has and everything that we can do to build relationships and trust amongst our community."

The city held its own Truth and Reconciliation event Monday morning to mark the start of the week.

"Reconciliation, it's here to stay," said Blackfoot elder Mike Bruised Head.

"It's not going to go away and we're going to keep reminding people, ‘hey, be part of it.’"

Bruised Head performed a prayer prior to the flag raising where they hoisted up the Blackfoot, Truth and Reconciliation and Metis flags in front of city hall.

He spoke to the week’s importance and how it should be a year long effort.

"It has to be more than one day, one week, one month," he said.

"It has to be a forever thing."

The city's Indigenous relations advisor, Charlene Bruised Head-Mountain Horse, says this is not just a time to look forward towards what we can do for reconciliation, but to look back at what's been done to bring us to this point.

"It's the importance of looking at the past, but being truthful and honouring what the past is," said Bruised Head-Mountain Horse.

"But how can we have a part and role in our day to day lives in the city of Lethbridge, our families, our friends to acknowledge but move forward in a positive way."

The city sent out a list of events going on around town this week for truth and reconciliation.

They include discussions with elders on the importance of orange shirt day, Blackfoot yoga and online Blackfoot language learning sessions.

In addition, the Lethbridge Public Library, the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College are all holding events of their own to honour the week.

For more information, you can visit the City of Lethbridge website. Top Stories

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