TRC: Walk for Reconcilation

from Rose LeMay, CFNHM
Indigenous Community Development
First Nations & Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada

TRC ClosingEvents

On Sunday May 31, we have an opportunity to support reconciliation in Canada following residential schools. This is the last Truth and Reconciliation Commission national event, and the only national event in Ottawa. Please see below for more information, and on

After generations of impact in this country, the last Indian Residential School closed in 1996. It's a difficult topic, and when we enter into the discussion with learning and respect in mind, we show the over 100,000 survivors that we care. While this is the last of a series of national TRC events, some Canadians may still be learning about the long-term impacts of residential schools on families and communities (complex trauma, lack of trust, physical health challenges due to unresolved mental health issues). Shelagh Rogers did a TedTalk a few years ago about Canada's discourse on residential schools, and I show my honour to Shelagh for facilitating the discussion with all Canadians.

While there is pain and trauma, the residential schools story of Canada is not all about pain and the past. It's also about the present and future. The healing continues, and you've seen the increasing level of visibility and leadership of Indigenous in this country. Our challenge this generation is to support the understanding and empathy of all Canadians to our shared history as a country, and to bridge the divides that sometimes come between Aboriginal Canadians and non-Aboriginal Canadians. It's time. We have an opportunity learn about resilience by witnessing the healing of survivors, their families and communities. As I've mentioned in the ICD course, imagine the day when we as a country are proud of the contributions of Indigenous communities, cultures and knowledge, and proud to walk together. The country will be stronger for it,

There is a Reconciliation Walk planned for May 31, an event to bring all Canadians together. The organizers are hoping for 15000 people for the Reconciliation Walk, but let's try for triple that number. Canadians care about reconciliation, and want to play their part. This is an opportunity for you, your neighbours, perhaps your organization, to walk alongside residential school survivors and their families and communities - an opportunity to stand for hope and strength together.

TRC Closing events
Free and open to all

Sunday, May 31: Reconciliation Walk

Join thousands walking for healing and a new relationship between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Canadians.

  • 12:00 noon - Walk leaves Gatineau at École Secondaire de l’Ile, 225 rue St-Rédempteur (parking and shuttle will be available)
  • 12:30 - Short route: from Victoria Island, continues down Wellington
  • 1:30 - Walk ends at Marion Dewar Plaza, Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave W. with stage program
  • Afternoon (TBD) – Prayer circle at the Human Rights Monument, Elgin Street at Lisgar

Monday, June 1: Learning Day

  • Delta Ottawa Hotel - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, displays, Blanket Exercise, teachings, panel

Tuesday, June 2: Presentation Day

  • Delta Ottawa Hotel - A.M.: Release of TRC findings.
  • 1:30 to 3:00 pm: Responses from Parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement: survivors, churches, federal government, Assembly of First Nations

Wednesday, June 3: Ceremonial Day

  • Rideau Hall, A.M. - Ceremonial Closing of TRC (invited guests only)
  • 1:15 pm Ceremony: Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams (open to the public). Children will plant a Heart Garden and lead us into the ongoing work of reconciliation

*Sunrise ceremonies, Victoria Island, May 31 to June 3, about 5:30 a.m.*


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