The “Rock Your Roots – Walk for Reconciliation”, which takes place on September 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, is more than just a walk.
Now in its sixth year, the event is a joined effort to combat racism, honor Residential School Survivors, and build bridges between Indigenous, non-Indigenous, and newcomer communities.
The walk is organized by Reconciliation Saskatoon, a collective of 115 organizations working collaboratively towards reconciliation. Residential School Survivors and Knowledge Keepers actively participate in organizing the event, infusing it with Indigenous language, ceremony, and cultural practices. Led by a smudge and involving youth, the walk serves as a platform for intergenerational knowledge exchange and cultural teachings.
Funds provided by the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund (IRF) helped put up orange banners across the city, telling the story of Residential Schools and honouring the voices of Survivors. The funding also covered various event costs, ensuring the walk continues to grow.
Residential School Survivors have shared how this day facilitates healing and that they “never thought the day would come” when they felt seen and honoured by the larger Saskatoon community in this way and alongside their family members.
Beyond the Walk for Reconciliation, the work of Reconciliation Canada includes regular learning events, an online tool called ConnectR, and a shared Vision for Reconciliation. Guided by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, MMIW2S Calls for Justices, and UNDRIP, their efforts focus on building authentic and meaningful relationships rooted in wâhkôhtowin—kinship and the interrelatedness of all things.
Diocese of Saskatoon